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I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)

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 Charles Cork ... Al
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 »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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

Last cinema film of Peter Graves. 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

Remake of Man lebt nur einmal (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sticking With You Baby
Little Willie John
See more »

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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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