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Léon: The Professional (1994)
"Léon" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  18 November 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 664,996 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 818 user | 150 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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 | 3 wins & 8 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 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 house of a professional murderer who by her request, teaches her the methods of his job so she can take her revenge from the corrupted DEA agent who ruined her life by killing her brother out of no actual reason. Written by J. S. Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A perfect assassin. An innocent girl. They have nothing left to lose except each other. He moves without sound. Kills without emotion. Disappears without trace. Only a 12 year old girl... knows his weakness. 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)


JPY 112,586,900 (Japan) (3 January 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (International)

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene in which Stansfield talks about his appreciation of Ludwig van Beethoven to Mathilda's father was completely improvised. The scene was filmed several times, with Gary Oldman giving a different improvised story on each take. See more »


On the Uncut version, when Mathilda goes on her first "hit", she loads her gun with an empty magazine and shoots her mark with two red paintballs. 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 »


Referenced in Sara (1997) See more »


Venus As A Boy
Performed by Björk
Written by Björk (as B. Gudmundsdottir)
Courtesy of One Little Indian / Mother 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!

416 of 479 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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