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I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 October 1990 (Finland)
After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »

Director:

Aki Kaurismäki

Writers:

Aki Kaurismäki (story), Aki Kaurismäki (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Henri Boulanger
Margi Clarke ... Margaret
Kenneth Colley ... Harry the Killer
T.R. Bowen T.R. Bowen ... Department Head (as Trevor Bowen)
Imogen Claire Imogen Claire ... Secretary (as Immogen Clare) (as Imogen Clare)
Angela Walsh Angela Walsh ... Landlady
Cyril Epstein Cyril Epstein ... Taxi Driver
Nicky Tesco ... Pete
Charles Cork ... Al
Michael O'Hagan Michael O'Hagan ... Harry the Killer's Boss
Tex Axile Tex Axile ... Barkeeper
Walter Sparrow ... Hotel Porter
Tony Rohr ... Frank the Doctor
Joe Strummer ... Guitar Player / Singer
Peter Graves ... Jeweller
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Storyline

After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to murder him at some unspecified time in the future. But almost immediately he meets and falls in love with Margaret, a flower-seller, which makes Henri realise that his life has some meaning after all. But when he goes back to the bar to cancel the contract, he finds it has been demolished - and there's no way he can get in touch with the killer... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lej aldrig yrkesmördare i rivningskåkar! [Never hire a professional killer in a condemned building!]

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Finland | Sweden | Germany | France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1990 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

I Hired a Contract Killer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the card playing scene, the lyrics of the Finnish song sum up what has happened up till that point. See more »

Quotes

The Killer: [the killer finds Henri, but starts to cough blood] Cancer. I'll be gone in a few weeks time.
Henri Boulanger: I'm sorry.
The Killer: Why? It'll take me out of here.
Henri Boulanger: Don't you like it here?
The Killer: No. I'm a loser.
Henri Boulanger: But this time you win.
The Killer: That's what you think. Life is a disappointment.
[the killer shoots himself]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Emmett's Mark (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Time On My Hands
Music by Vincent Youmans
Lyrics by Harold Adamson and Mack Gordon
Performed by Billie Holiday
See more »

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User Reviews

Highly Recommended
9 September 2002 | by helmoreSee all my reviews

I watched a documentary about Aki Kaurimaki (one of my favourite directors) in which he stated that he was sick and tired of pages and pages of dialogue he had written ending up on the cutting room floor. So he keeps the dialogue to a minimum. This film is a perfect example of this philosophy. This is Kaurismaki's trademark. Anyone who has seen "Leningrad Cowboys Go America" or "Arial" will recognise his sparing use of dialogue rather than having characters speak just for the sake of speaking. It is no wonder that his most recent film "Juha" was a silent film.

This is a very dark and very realistic film about loneliness and depression. All the main characters in the film are lonely people, with very little to live for. Anyone who liked Tom Di Cillo's "Johnny Suede" will find that this is a very film to "I hired a Contract Killer". Personally, I loved this film and would highly recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for fine art house cinema.


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