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Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon (original title)
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Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

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322 ( 43)
Top Rated Movies #30 | 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Leon
... Stansfield
... Mathilda
... Tony
... Malky
Willi One Blood ... 1st Stansfield Man (as Willie One Blood)
... 2nd Stansfield man
Keith A. Glascoe ... 3rd Stansfield man
Randolph Scott ... 4th Stansfield man
... Mathilda's Father
... Mathilda's Mother
... Mathilda's Sister
Carl J. Matusovich ... Mathilda's Brother
... Fatman
Lucius Wyatt Cherokee ... Tonto (as Lucius Wyatt 'Cherokee')
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Storyline

After her father, mother, older sister and little brother are killed by her father's employers, the 12-year-old daughter of an abject drug dealer is forced to take refuge in the apartment of a professional hitman who at her request teaches her the methods of his job so she can take her revenge on the corrupt DEA agent who ruined her life by killing her beloved brother. Written by J. S. Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge is a tough game, even for a Professional (Australia) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong graphic violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

18 November 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Léon: The Professional  »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,306,558, 20 November 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,501,238

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,501,238
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (International)

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)| | |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stansfield says he and his goons will show up at noon. At León's house we see a clock that shows 11:58. The following sequence takes exactly two minutes, and they show up exactly at noon. See more »

Goofs

Stansfield repeatedly pops a drug capsule into his mouth and reacts instantly, as if he had ingested raw powder through his mouth or nasal passage. In reality, under normal circumstances a gel capsule could not have dissolved instantly in his mouth to allow immediate ingestion of the drug powder contained inside the capsule. It would have had to be swallowed, and even then several minutes would pass before the gel capsule could dissolve enough for the drug inside it to take effect.

However, if you watch closely (and listen) Stansfield is actually biting the capsules. You can see his jaw move and hear a distinctive *crack* sound. This would instantly release the powder into his mouth. For many drug users, part of the "high" is an endorphin rush when their body realizes that they are about to receive a dose. The mere taste of it is enough for the early stages of euphoria to kick in.

In other words, his reaction is partially psychosomatic, like a smoker reacting with a sigh to the first hit of a cigarette before any of the nicotine has any time to have an actual physical effect. Or how a heroin addict's withdrawal symptoms begin to disappear when they start preparing their shot. In that case, not only has the drug not had enough time to act but it's also not even in the body yet. And it can still cause a physical reaction.

You can see that the entire act is almost like a ritual for Stansfield, beginning with his shaking the container to listen to the pills rattle around. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tony: Allora, come stai, Leone?
Léon: Bene.
[Tony puts out his cigarette in an ashtray]
Tony: OK. OK. Let's talk business.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Under the "SPECIAL THANKS" heading you will find: Chevalier KAMEN (Prince of the Mash Potatoes) Byblos Bill (King of Saint Tropez) Princess Trudy (Queen of Hearts) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Angels Revenge (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like Myself
from It's Always Fair Weather (1955)
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Gene Kelly (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Brilliant Conflict
14 August 1998 | by See all my reviews

This film, better known in the U.S. as "The Professional", is a wonderful and intense film. Jean Reno plays his role as a "cleaner" with incredible subtlety. Leon tries to keep his emotions completely suppressed, yet Matilda (in an extraordinary performance by a young Natalie Portman, who is destined to become a very powerful actress into her adult life) bring out in him a new-found joy for life that accompanies his growing paternal instincts. But, the most dynamic element of this film is undeniably Gary Oldman's performance as a wildly sadistic and crooked DEA agent with his own narcotic-induced demons. His obsessions eventually lead him to the brink of absolute madness in his hunt for the cleaner. Truly, this is Oldman's finest performance to date, worthy of Oscar glory, though sadly forgotten. And so, Luc Besson did indeed top his triumph of "La Femme Nikita" by far with this masterpiece. Though, I cannot exactly praise his most recent effort with the sci-fi misfire, "The Fifth Element."


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