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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 »


Aki Kaurismäki


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Henri Boulanger
Margi Clarke ... Margaret
Kenneth Colley ... 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 ... Cab Driver
Nicky Tesco ... Pete
Charles Cork ... Al
Michael O'Hagan Michael O'Hagan ... Killer's Boss
Tex Axile Tex Axile ... Bartender
Walter Sparrow ... Receptionist
Tony Rohr ... Frank
Joe Strummer ... Guitarist
Peter Graves ... Jeweller


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to the memory of Michael Powell. See more »


Margaret: [Henri has just spend a night with Margaret] What about now? You still want to die?
Henri Boulanger: No no, not anymore.
Margaret: Because you met me?
Henri Boulanger: Yes, that's made me change my mind.
Margaret: Only because of my blue eyes?
Henri Boulanger: Are they blue?
See more »


Remake of On demande un assassin (1949) See more »


Burning Light
Joe Strummer and the Astro Physicians
See more »

User Reviews

Whoever never tasted the real fruits of life
14 May 2009 | by hasoschSee all my reviews

The problem of Henri Boulanger is similar to that of Odysseus who told his friends to tighten him up at a pole of his ship before they drive through Scylla and Charybdis, and, to never obey him if he asks them to loose the ties, because otherwise he will be lost for either of the two monsters. In the case of Henry Boulanger it is so that this sober, never-drinking, never womanizing Kafkaesque office-worker suddenly looses his job, when the company wants to shrink. Boulanger, who never had tasted the sweet delirium of alcohol and the seductive odor of cigarettes, does not know a catalytic spirit of auxiliary constructions that would help him over the shock of having lost his job. So, he does what nobody else would do in his situation: he hires a contract killer. However, shortly after having paid the sum to kill himself, he enters a bar where they do not sell tea, so, for the first time, under the horizon of his life coming to a soon end, he drinks whiskey after whiskey, learns how good this is for him and smokes cigarette after cigarette, greedily trying to catch up what he had missed his whole life. There, in the bar, he meets Margaret, his first and therefore biggest love of his life. Clearly, having tasted the real fruits of life, he does not want to die anymore. But how can he make his killers clear that he want to withdraw from his contract? While Odysseus stays cuffed on his pole, Boulanger errs lost like Odysseus through London.

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Release Date:

12 October 1990 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

I Hired a Contract Killer See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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