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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.

Director:

Luc Besson

Writer:

Luc Besson
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323 ( 50)
Top Rated Movies #30 | 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Reno ... Leon
Gary Oldman ... Stansfield
Natalie Portman ... Mathilda
Danny Aiello ... Tony
Peter Appel ... Malky
Willi One Blood ... 1st Stansfield Man (as Willie One Blood)
Don Creech ... 2nd Stansfield man
Keith A. Glascoe Keith A. Glascoe ... 3rd Stansfield man
Randolph Scott Randolph Scott ... 4th Stansfield man
Michael Badalucco ... Mathilda's Father
Ellen Greene ... Mathilda's Mother
Elizabeth Regen ... Mathilda's Sister
Carl J. Matusovich Carl J. Matusovich ... Mathilda's Brother
Frank Senger ... 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:

You can't stop what you can't see. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

18 November 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Léon: The Professional See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (International)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2005 interview, Natalie Portman recalled how she had to train herself to "cry on cue" during filming. For her first emotional scene - when Mathilda finds her family dead and goes to Léon's door for help - she was unable to produce the necessary tears. Luc Besson solved the problem by having a crew member spray mint oil into her eyes. Portman said this was so painful that from then on she had no trouble crying real tears on command, just to avoid being subjected to the mint oil again. See more »

Goofs

When Stansfield is walking into the DEA building, followed by Mathilda, a cameraman is standing in the window high above the entrance. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the USA cable version, a flyover of Central Park in the beginning has been cut for no apparent reason, and the main titles moved to the first scene. See more »

Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
Performed by Natalie Portman (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a symphony in film
25 April 2003 | by Gjay2See all my reviews

luc besson will never top this movie. This is his benchmark, his classical composition. Look at the precise, intricate scenes. It's a symphony in cinema. Straight off, it's action. Intelligently shot, and scripted. It makes everything that follows hard to live upto. But it does so easily. It's stylish without being showy, it's deep without being sentimental. And it's just hugely enjoyable. Seeing the friendship between newly orphaned mathilda and skilled assasin leon bloom, is tenderly done. At risk of slipping into a sappy bond, besson keeps it easy on the emotions, without coming off as shallow.

The actors are all spot on, most notably the debut from a young natalie portman as mathilda. Showing an angry, sad, pent up, in love girl is no simple task but she breezes through it, touching all the right notes. And jean reno as the title character, is minimal but very effecting. Hard to understand, but easy to relate too. But gary oldman steals it, with his glorious overacting. He's as scary as he is determind. His line delivery is almost perfect. And his fate is very fitting. If only they made more intelligent action movies, then they could contend with this film. But as it stands right now, leon is one of the best action dramas ever made.


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