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George has just been released from prison, and manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer. Initially they don't get on; he doesn't fit in with the high class customers Simone services. Will they ever get on?

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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cathy Tyson ...
...
Mortwell
...
Thomas
...
Anderson
...
Cathy
...
Jeannie (as Zoe Nathenson)
...
May
Rod Bedall ...
Terry
Joe Brown ...
Dudley
Pauline Melville ...
George's Wife
Hossein Karimbeik ...
Raschid
John Darling ...
Hotel Security
Bryan Coleman ...
Gentleman in Mirror Room
Robert Dorning ...
Hotel Bedroom Man
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Storyline

George, after getting out of prison, begins looking for a job, but his time in prison has reduced his stature in the criminal underworld. The only job he can find is to be a driver for Simone, a beautiful high-priced call girl, with whom he forms an at first grudging, and then real affection. Only Simone's playing a dangerous game, and when George agrees to help her, they both end up in a huge amount of trouble with Mortwell, the local kingpin. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes love is a strange and wicked game. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Мона Лиза  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,794,184 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neil Jordan used real prostitutes in the film. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow visible on the racks of clothes when Simone and George go shopping. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jeannie: [at her front door, to George] Yeah? Do you want mum?
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Connections

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

WHEN I FALL IN LOVE
By Victor Young and Edward Heyman
Used by permission of Chappell Music Limited
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Original sound recording exclusive owned and controlled by Capitol Records Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Almost great modern noir
24 April 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Mona Lisa is an interesting predecessor to Neil Jordan's later masterpiece 'The Crying Game'. Taking in many of the same themes as the later film, such as the nature of love, affection and doing what's right, Mona Lisa is an update of the classic film noir tradition that also has obvious ties with other genres such as crime, romance and even comedy. One famous film that I would liken this one to is the Martin Scorsese classic 'Taxi Driver', as the two films deal with similar issues and follow a similar structure, but Mona Lisa distances itself from the classic 70's movie because it has a very obvious heart at it's centre. The characterisation in the film is really well done, and it's obvious that writers Neil Jordan and David Leland care a lot about the characters in the movie. The events of the film are almost all a result of character actions, and the plot follows George; an ex-convict who has just been released from prison. He is given a job ferrying a high-priced call girl around her various jobs. What George doesn't count on is that the contempt he feels for her will turn into affection.

Like The Crying Game before it, Mona Lisa is a down and dirty, gritty movie and this styling does the film no end of favours when it comes to portraying the plot. The movie's style bodes well with the themes on display, and it also serves in giving it an edge of realism. However, the film's main downfall is that, while the atmosphere is realistic, the acting largely isn't. Neil Jordan doesn't appear to know how to pull a convincing performance from his stars, especially the female ones, as a lot of the dialogue is delivered in a very forced and phoney sounding manner; and it can get uncomfortable to view at times. Bob Hoskins does well at the film's core, and what I said about the acting can't always be applied to his performance; but there are definitely moments when holes begin to appear with him too. Also, like Jordan's masterpiece, the film's soundtrack is sometimes off-cue, and certain songs would have bee better off not being chosen for the soundtrack. However, all of the film's flaws can be forgiven when the film reaches it's explosive conclusion, as it's the perfect end to the film as it allows all of the characters to fully mature, and Bob Hoskins in particular shines at the climax. On the whole, Mona Lisa is a flawed, but still highly admirable piece of work.


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