7.4/10
11,437
56 user 70 critic

Mona Lisa (1986)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writers:

Neil Jordan (screenplay), David Leland (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman
The Miracle (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The two teenagers Jimmy and Rose spend their vacation at the small Irish sea-resort Bray. Out of boredom they observe other people and imagine wild stories about them. One day they observe ... See full summary »

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Beverly D'Angelo, Donal McCann, Niall Byrne
Get Carter (1971)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier's world.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In London, twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins a literature course in an open ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Michael Williams
The Hit (1984)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ten years later, after ratting on his old mobster friends in exchange for personal immunity, two hit men drive a hardened criminal to Paris for his execution. However, while on the way, whatever can go wrong, does go wrong.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Freddie Stuart, Ralph Brown, A.J. Clarke
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The antisocial son of an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother grows up in 1960s Ireland.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens
Alfie (1966)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Hoskins ... George
Cathy Tyson ... Simone
Michael Caine ... Mortwell
Robbie Coltrane ... Thomas
Clarke Peters ... Anderson
Kate Hardie ... Cathy
Zoë Nathenson ... Jeannie (as Zoe Nathenson)
Sammi Davis ... May
Rod Bedall Rod Bedall ... Terry
Joe Brown Joe Brown ... Dudley
Pauline Melville Pauline Melville ... George's Wife
Joseph Karimbeik Joseph Karimbeik ... Raschid
John Darling John Darling ... Hotel Security
Bryan Coleman Bryan Coleman ... Gentleman in Mirror Room
Robert Dorning Robert Dorning ... Hotel Bedroom Man
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mona Lisa See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,361, 15 June 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,794,184
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's storyline has been likened to the earlier movies Hardcore (1979) and Taxi Driver (1976). Both were written by Paul Schrader. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Scala (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bimba dagli occhi (love duet)
from "Madama Butterfly"
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi
Courtesy of Decca Record Company Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

**** (Out of four)
11 October 1999 | by halnexusSee all my reviews

"Mona Lisa" is one of those weird Neil Jordan dramedies which resound with more ferocity upon afterthought than while actually watching it. Like "The Crying Game", I was left with no immediate impression of the movie, but days after watching it, I became haunted by the film's ingratiating reality. You can tell you're watching a good movie when you can describe it as "atmospheric" without the film trying overtly to reach for that effect.

Bob Hoskins stars as George, and as we first see him, he is lulling along a dismal London apartment neighborhood with a plastic bag and a fistful of flowers. As he reaches his destination, the audience soon realizes what a heartbroken journey this man's life has been. Indeed his good intentions at seeing his wife and daughter are mired by the wife's stubborn, yet understandable reaction of slamming the door in her ex-convict husband's face.

Soon George is hired by the callous gangster Mortwell (Michael Caine) as a chauffeur for the high-class call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson). He is at first repelled by the "tall black tart", as she remarks about his slovenly appearance. In a subplot structured like a revisionist feminine "Pygmalion", George is made over by the prostitute into the appearance of a "gentleman", a contempestuous appearance which only magnifies his good-hearted nature in comparison with the cold-blooded Mortwell.

Soon, however, George and Simone strike a bond seemingly based on a mutual affection for the souls lurking beneath each facade. Simone details to George an old blonde friend named Cathy still working the streets and implores him to rescue her. Jordan builds upon the elements of "Taxi Driver" here and even pays homage to that film in one scene depicting the front end of George's automobile backlit by a seedy district filled with peep shows and pedophiles.

Of course George is starting to fall for his elegant charge, but his feelings are more of a fatherly nature than anything. Simone seems to feed off this affection, as she states that she does no more than drink tea at the behest of her clients and even provides snapshots of her doing so. This is why it comes as even more of a shock to George when he accidentally discovers a porn video featuring Simone at the provocation of things which her innocent demeanor had previously rendered him incapable of imagining.

Much of "Mona Lisa" is built around human desperation, and indeed one can sense that George, like Travis Bickle or Jimmy Stewart in "Vertigo", is attempting to erroneously place the puzzled-together image of the perfect woman into the jagged emotional contours of his love interest. Of course the title implies this, and Jordan reinforces this symbolization with not only the Da Vinci painting and the Nat "King" Cole ballad, but with the incandescent statues of the Virgin Mary which his friend (Robbie Coltrane) collects. This is unarguably Hoskins' best performance, in a career entirely overlooked by even the most driven of film fanatics. After roles in "The Long Good Friday", "Pink Floyd: The Wall", this, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", and the upcoming "Felicia's Journey", one can deduce the sheer emotional vicissitude which compelled him to aim for, let alone attain, the raw power that comprises his characters.


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed