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Léon: The Professional (1994)
"Léon" (original title)

8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 507,912 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 756 user | 138 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A professional assassin rescues a young girl whose family were killed in a police raid.

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Title: Léon: The Professional (1994)

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Top 250 #27 | 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Willi One Blood ...
1St Stansfield Man (as Willie One Blood)
...
Keith A. Glascoe ...
Randolph Scott ...
...
...
...
Carl J. Matusovich ...
...
Lucius Wyatt Cherokee ...
Tonto (as Lucius Wyatt 'Cherokee')
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Storyline

Mathilda, a twelve-year old New York girl, is living an undesirable life among her half-family. Her father stores drugs for two-faced cop Norman Stansfield. Only her little brother keeps Mathilda from breaking apart. One day, Stansfield and his team take cruel revenge on her father for stretching the drugs a little, thus killing the whole family. Only Mathilda, who was out shopping, survives by finding shelter in Léon's apartment in the moment of highest need. Soon, she finds out about the strange neighbour's unusual profession - killing - and desperately seeks his help in taking revenge for her little brother. Léon, who is completely unexperienced in fatherly tasks, and in friendships, does his best to keep Mathilda out of trouble - unsuccessfully. Now, the conflict between a killer, who slowly discovers his abilities to live, to feel, to love and a corrupt police officer, who does anything in his might to get rid of an eye witness, arises to unmeasurable proportions - all for the ... Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | drugs | revenge | hitman | apartment | See more »

Taglines:

A professional hitman, an innocent witness, a corrupt detective who went too far 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 115,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

JPY 112,586,900 (Japan) (3 January 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (International) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Gary Oldman's character Stansfield talks about his appreciation of Beethoven to Mathilda's father was completely improvised. The scene was filmed several times, with Oldman giving a different improvised story on each take. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, Léon gives Mathilda a revolver, which she fires six times out the window. Later on (in the International version) she plays Russian Roulette with the same revolver, and we see her place three bullets into the cylinder, although the audio indicates she loads four. However when she spins the cylinder and before snapping it closed it can be seen that three out of five chambers are loaded. It would be impossible to fire the gun six times without reloading. 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 Kiss of the Dragon (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Shape Of My Heart
Written by Sting and Dominic Miller
Introduction by Dominic Miller
Performed by Sting
Courtesy of Magnetic Ltd. / A&M Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Special Projects
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Masterful
29 March 2004 | by (http://www.amateurscribe.webeden.co.uk) – See all my reviews

I have long thought that owning films on DVD or video is a waste of money - you watch them once and after that they are left to fester at the back of a cupboard. Occasionally I make an exception - some films simply cannot be fully appreciated on just one viewing. Every time I watch Leon is as gripping and enjoyable as the first. Sad, funny, violent, incredibly touching - few films manage to tick all the boxes and even fewer are about hitmen.

It obviously helps when your leading man has as much screen presence as Jean Reno. Thin and wiry with toilet brush hair and a face like a bag of spanners, he is hardly your typical gun-toting action hero, but he has an innocence and compassion that makes you fall for him instantly. Leon's life is as simple as a small child's: TV, lashings of milk and the odd gangland assassination. He cannot read, he doesn't sleep, he hasn't the trappings of family or wealth (the fees for his hits are habitually trousered by his `benefactor': sleazy small-time Italian gangster Tony (Danny Aiello)) - In short, he lives like a robot. And then he meets Mathilda.

Normally I can't stand Hollywood kids. They are all doey-eyed, bouffant-haired brats who can cry on cue and are always ready with a cutesy, smart-alec comment that will cause their adult co-stars to tinkle with laughter or tousle their hair playfully. Often they are kidnapped and huge ransoms demanded while their parents go demented with worry. I for one am usually rooting for the kidnappers.

Natalie Portman's Mathilda is the antithesis of these namby-pamby Dawson's Creek actors-in-waiting. For starters, she has something justifiable to gripe about, in that her entire family has just been slaughtered by Gary Oldman and his gang of crooked DEA officers. This is a bit of a blow, to say the least, but Mathilda takes it all in her stride and teams up with Leon in a bid for revenge. So begins one of the stranger relationships in silver screen history, but one of the most memorable.

On the face of it, a love story between a twelve year old girl and a hairy French hitman would raise a few eyebrows among more conservative movie-goers, but director Luc Besson handles it so beautifully, it seems like the most natural thing on earth. They are united in being totally alone in the world - indeed, the scene where Mathilda walks quietly down the corridor past the carnage in her apartment and knocks on Leon's door, imploring him in a tearful whisper to let her in is as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking. Leon is wary at first, but she soon wins him round and starts to gently bring him out of the shell.

Portman is truly astonishing - one can almost forgive her for being a part of the appalling Star Wars prequels on the strength of this one performance. The iconic image of this tiny, grubby little girl clutching Leon's beloved plant and trotting to keep up with her lanky hero's giant strides is one that will live long in the memory.

Aiello and Oldman (at his sadistic, malevolent best) provide predictably excellent support, there is a wonderfully suspenseful yet satisfying ending

  • heck, there's even a decent Sting song playing over the credits - for
this (if nothing else) it would be remiss of me to give Leon anything other than top marks.

10/10


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How did Stansfield cover up that killing that family? scotty999
The 'dress up' scene was so wrong... Shoshobe
So what's the deal with Tony? bbqgoat
Which version is the best version of this movie, in your opinion? coindudej2
why hasn't luc besson wrote a sequel? eviscerations
movies of older male and younger female immitchconnor
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