171 user 91 critic

La Femme Nikita (1990)

Nikita (original title)
R | | Action, Thriller | April 1991 (USA)
2:30 | Trailer
Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.


Luc Besson


Luc Besson
4,534 ( 51)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Parillaud ... Nikita / Marie Clément
Marc Duret ... Rico
Patrick Fontana Patrick Fontana ... Coyotte
Alain Lathière Alain Lathière ... Zap
Laura Chéron Laura Chéron ... La punk
Jacques Boudet ... Le pharmacien
Helene Aligier Helene Aligier ... La pharmacienne
Pierre-Alain de Garrigues Pierre-Alain de Garrigues ... Flic pharmacie
Patrick Pérez Patrick Pérez ... Flic pharmacie (as Patrick Perez)
Bruno Randon Bruno Randon ... Flic pharmacie
Vincent Skimenti Vincent Skimenti ... Flic pharmacie
Roland Blanche Roland Blanche ... Flic interrogatoire
Joseph Teruel Joseph Teruel ... Stagiaire flic
Jacques Disses Jacques Disses ... Avocat
Stéphane Fey Stéphane Fey ... Président tribunal (as Stephane Fey)


An urgent life-or-death dilemma befalls Nikita--the feral street girl and violent drug addict--after killing a police officer at point blank. Hopeless, Nikita is given a new lease of life, when she reluctantly exchanges her doomed fate for a secret government program that promises to mould her into a cold-blooded assassin under the wing of her sadistic mentor, Bob. Now--with a new set of skills, a new identity, and lethally sophisticated looks--Nikita is the ultimate weapon and the perfect puppet for doing the government's dirty work; however, what happens if this trained killer chooses love over death? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She murders, so she can live. See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The diplomatic plates on the Mercedes driven by Victor in the mission to the embassy has a code indicating that it belongs to the Australian embassy. See more »


Nikita's leg gunshot wound heals quickly without a scar. See more »


Nikita: Why ain't my mother here?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2008 US Blu-ray does not provide subtitles for the nursery rhyme Nikita sings half an hour in when she presents her computer instructor with a mouse. (The French subtitle track merely says that she sings obnoxiously.) Other editions, for example the original US laserdisc, however, provide a translation: "One white mouse / Ran into my house / I grabbed its tail / And made it wail". See more »


Referenced in Jean Reno: The Road to 'Léon' (2005) See more »


The Dark Side of Time
Performed by Éric Serra
Words by Luc Besson
Backing vocals by Yvonne Jones & Slim Batteux
See more »

User Reviews

Ground-breaking assassin flick
14 February 2018 | by bowmanblueSee all my reviews

I think I probably watched this film at the wrong time. I first saw the American-language remake 'Assassin' back in the early nineties and have only just got round to watching the film it was based on, 'Nikita' (or 'La Femme Nikita' to be precise). Therefore, it's hard to accept that the French version is the original source material and not the remake. Both stay pretty much on the same story-telling path, telling the tale of a down-and-out, drug-addled young woman, killing a police officer in a burglary gone wrong, but eluding the death penalty in favour of working for a secret government agency to 'off' those who need disappearing. Yes, the plot is possibly a little far-fetched, but, if you can suspend your disbelief long enough, you'll find that it's well worth it.

What you get is the story of a tortured soul who's trying to make a fresh start of her life and yet keeps finding herself dragged back into the covert ways of the spy agency to do their dirty work. You will definitely feel for the lead and the writing is pretty solid for her and all those she encounters. It's one of those rare films where there isn't a discernible 'baddie' to take on. The 'bad-guy' (if it can be considered so) is the situation she's found herself in and her attempts to - once again - change her life for the better and truly escape the shackles she's found herself in - whether a slave to drug abuse or the government's whims.

I think the best thing about Nikita is its realism (yes, I know I've already said you have to suspend your disbelief to appreciate it, but hear me out...) - in many modern films where the lead is a female action hero who spends her time beating up dozens of burly men who stand in her way, you feel that - although cool to look at - it may not happen that way in real life. However, in Nikita she never uses her physical strength to overpower and take-down her targets. Instead, she uses her wits and deadeye with a sniper's rifle to get the dirty job done (and get home in time for tea with her new fella).

I'm glad I've watched the original. It's a decent film which blends action with genuine emotion for the characters, plus it's worth noting that it was good enough to inspire whoever greenlit its American remake NOT to change it so much that it's barely recognisable and remained true to what made it great in the first place.

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France | Italy


French | Italian | English

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Femme Nikita See more »


Box Office


FRF50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,047, 10 March 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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