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La Femme Nikita (1990)

Nikita (original title)
R | | Action, Thriller | April 1991 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

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Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director:

Luc Besson

Writer:

Luc Besson
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Popularity
3,928 ( 113)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Hard to Kill. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | Italian | English

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Femme Nikita See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 50,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,017,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Bouise's last film. See more »

Goofs

When Nikita is being taken away after her sentencing, she breaks the top of the wooden bench off. However, you can clearly see it has been cut beforehand to help break off easier. See more »

Quotes

Marco: Stop before it's too late.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The English dubbed version featured John Tremaine as the voice of Tchéky Karyo's character Bob. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charmed: Centennial Charmed (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Exciting, romantic, and stylish!
27 September 2005 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

I fell in love with this film from the moment I first saw a brief clip of it on an entertainment program. At first I was drawn to the action elements (being young and somewhat immature in my dramatic tastes), but I was blown away by the romance and character interplay. I loved the composition of the scenes, the noirish lighting, and the quirky humor. This movie, along with Pedro Almodovar's films, really opened my eyes to European films, particularly those with a signature style.

The performances are great across the board. Anne Parillaud plays all facets of Nikita well, from her rebellious, drug-hazed beginning, to her growing confidence, and her near breakdown as her mission falls apart. Tcheky Karyo made a huge impression, mostly through his body language and his eyes. He says more with an expression than most actors do with dialogue. Jeanne Moraeu is a treasure, a truly beautiful woman in appearance and spirit. Jean-Hughues Anglade has the harder part, the "normal" guy who Nikita falls for. He is adept at comedy, but is tender in the love scenes. He carries himself well in his face-off with Bob. Finally, the actor who really stands out in memory, Jean Reno. Reno oozes charisma and talent, even in bad films. He steals the film the moment he enters.

Luc Besson is a tremendous stylist. His films are beautiful, even when the story is a bit obtuse. He is adept at using light to portray and enhance emotion and his compositions are stunning. His main fault is that he lets style overtake story, but he gets away with it because the style is always interesting. He is a fine writer, although more care seems to go into the scripts he directs than those he has written for others.

Finally, one can't discuss the films of Besson without discussing the music of Eric Serra. Serra creates an atmosphere that is much a part of the setting as the lighting or set decoration. His compositions convey mood and emotion, adding another layer to the story. His signature bass and percussion gets your heart pumping during action sequences, while the melodies bring a softness to intimate moments. He demonstrates the proper way to use synthesizers, to transform the music, rather than make up for lack of an orchestra (or talent). Serra's soundtracks were the first that I bought for instrumental music, rather than for pop songs used in the film.

This is a film that appeals to many audiences. There is plenty of action and intrigue for thrillseekers, unique character studies, quirky humor, and above all, romance. It has spawned many imitations (Point of No Return, Black Cat, Nikita TV series) but has never been equaled. If you are a fan of film noir, action/espionage, character drama, or romance, you should see this film; then you should own this film. You'll want to watch it again and again.


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