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Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon (original title)
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Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.



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Top Rated Movies #27 | 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willi One Blood ...
1st Stansfield Man (as Willie One Blood)
Keith A. Glascoe ...
Randolph Scott ...
Carl J. Matusovich ...
Lucius Wyatt Cherokee ...
Tonto (as Lucius Wyatt 'Cherokee')


After her father, mother, older sister and little brother are killed by her father's employers, the 12-year-old daughter of an abject drug dealer is forced to take refuge in the apartment of a professional hitman who at her request teaches her the methods of his job so she can take her revenge on the corrupt DEA agent who ruined her life by killing her beloved brother. Written by J. S. Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Revenge is a tough game, even for a Professional (Australia) See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong graphic violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

18 November 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Léon: The Professional  »

Box Office


FRF 115,000,000 (estimated)


$32,346,209 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (International)

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the original script, Mathilda (aged 13 or 14) and Léon became lovers. Luc Besson reportedly altered the script to remove this aspect of the story (possibly due to pressure from Natalie Portman's parents). See more »


Leon erroneously uses the word "client" to refer to the person being targeted. A "client" is a person who hires Leon, via a "contract", to do a "cleaning" (killing) job, whereas a "target" or a "mark" refers to the one to whom a contract has been issued. See more »


[first lines]
Tony: Allora, come stai, Leone?
Léon: Bene.
[Tony puts out his cigarette in an ashtray]
Tony: OK. OK. Let's talk business.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Under the "SPECIAL THANKS" heading you will find: Chevalier KAMEN (Prince of the Mash Potatoes) Byblos Bill (King of Saint Tropez) Princess Trudy (Queen of Hearts) See more »


Spoofed in Where the Heart Is (2000) See more »


Shape Of My Heart
Written by Sting and Dominic Miller
Introduction by Dominic Miller
Performed by Sting
Courtesy of Magnetic Ltd. / A&M Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Special Projects
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Action Film For Lovers
24 November 2000 | by See all my reviews

With enough blood and gore to please any fan of action movies, and a unique love story to please the ladies, this is a great movie for couples to watch together. However, to truly comprehend the beauty of this film, you must see the European Cut.

The U.S. version is still a great movie, but it cuts out 24 minutes which contain much of the heart of the movie and most of what makes the film a work of art instead of the usual action fodder. Elements of the story which are only hinted at in the U.S. cut become the centerpiece of the story when the un-cut version is seen.

The two main characters are a recently-orphaned girl who is wise beyond her years and a hitman who is still an innocent. Their relationship unfolds against a backdrop of murder and revenge as director Luc Besson explores issues of age and maturity, good and evil, and the interplay of life, death and love.

The acting in this film is superb. Reno has an expressive face which conveys a myriad of emotions with great sensitivity and few words. He is cold as ice as the almost super-human 'professional', but his performance is most moving when he reveals his sensitive side. Watching as his wounded soul slowly begins to heal is enough to touch the heart of any woman, but it is handled so subtly that it never becomes too 'sappy'.

In her film debut, Natalie Portman turns in a performance that is beautiful beyond belief. She manages the transition from a frightened child to a woman capable of killing so convincingly that it makes the relationship between she and Leon not only believable, but understandable.

Gary Oldman is just the best psycho there is, and it is kind of nice to see him without all the strange makeup for a change. As a dirty cop in this film he personifies evil, and it is a joy to watch him do his thing.

The special effects are all you could hope for. Besson does great actions scenes - especially the explosions. There is also a lot of humor and when you throw in the tender love story - this picture has it all!

443 of 507 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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