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Mona Lisa (1986)

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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?



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



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


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


She was a tart. He was an ex-con. And she was about to shatter his life forever. See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Мона Лиза  »

Box Office


$5,794,184 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to BFI Screenonline, the fifteen year old character of Cathy was played by a then thirty year old Kate Hardie, but the IMDb states Hardy was born in 1969, making her around sixteen years when the movie was filmed. See more »


George stops and orders Simone to get out of the car but doubles back parks and apologizes. Exhaust fumes are clearly seen from the rear of the vehicle as he left it running. When they get back in, he changes gear and pulls off into traffic. On the soundtrack however you can hear the car ignition kicking in (as in the key turning) which is inaccurate as the car engine was already turned on. See more »


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


Referenced in The Secret Life of Brian (2007) See more »


Words and Music by Ray Noble
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User Reviews

"Well, let's say you're a lady. " - George (Bob Hoskins)
4 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Neil Jordan's 'Mona Lisa' is a great film that was sadly forgotten over time, even though Hoskins got an Oscar nomination for the film. 'Mona Lisa' follows a basically good guy whose made some bad choices George (Bob Hoskins) and his return from prison. Shunned from his wife and some of his old buddies, George feels kind of unwanted but gets a job from his old boss (Michael Caine) chauffeuring a call girl (Cathy Tyson) around at night. The call girl and George form a bond, while the story turns into violence, crime and George and the call girl's search for a young innocent teenage girl forced into prostitution. In my opinion, 'Mona Lisa' is one of Jordan's best films if not his best. Hoskins is absolutely amazing in his role, while Cathy Tyson and Michael Caine provide solid performances as well. Clarke Peters (who you may know as Detective Freeman from HBO's brilliant dramatic series 'The Wire') is also in this as Cathy Tyson's evil and psychotic pimp. For all you indie fans out there, rush to the Blockbuster near you to rent 'Mona Lisa' (make sure it's not 'Mona Lisa Smile', that movie is a tad bit different.) Most likely, you'll find a lot to enjoy and/or admire about this little British indie gem. Grade: B+

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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