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The Professional

The Professional

A Feature film by Luc Besson

Produced by Gaumont, Les Films du Dauphin

Release in France : 14/09/1994


    Leon is a killer of the worst kind. He is untouchable, undetectable and above all, indestrictible. Better than a submarine. An ever-present armed danger casting a shadow of terror over New-York. Indestructible Leon ? Until a little mouse comes nibbling away at the edifice. A tiny little mouse with big eyes.

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    Videos (2)


    The Professional

    English Trailer


    The Professional

    Trailer VF

    Actors (11)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Box Office: Total results

    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (43)

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    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country



    Léon: The Professional is to some extent an expansion of an idea in Besson's earlier 1990 film, La Femme Nikita. In La Femme Nikita Jean Reno plays a similar character named Victor. Besson described Léon as "Now maybe Jean is playing the American cousin of Victor. This time he's more human."

    While most of the interior footage was shot in France, the rest of the film was shot on location in New York. The final scene at the school was filmed at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.


    Léon: The Professional received favorable reviews from critics. As of January 2011, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an aggregate rating of 79% based on 42 critical reviews, and the consensus, "Pivoting on the unusual relationship between seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice — a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman — Luc Besson's Léon is a stylish and oddly affecting thriller".

    Mark Salisbury of Empire magazine awarded the film a full five stars. He said, "Oozing style, wit and confidence from every sprocket, and offering a dizzyingly, fresh perspective on the Big Apple that only Besson could bring, this is, in a word, wonderful". Mark Deming at AllMovie awarded the film four stars out of five, describing it as "As visually stylish as it is graphically violent", and featuring "a strong performance from Jean Reno, a striking debut by Natalie Portman, and a love-it-or-hate-it, over-the-top turn by Gary Oldman". Richard Schickel of Time magazine lauded the film, writing, "this is a Cuisinart of a movie, mixing familiar yet disparate ingredients, making something odd, possibly distasteful, undeniably arresting out of them". He praised Oldman's performance as "divinely psychotic".

    Roger Ebert awarded the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, writing: "It is a well-directed film, because Besson has a natural gift for plunging into drama with a charged-up visual style. And it is well acted." However, he was not entirely complimentary: "Always at the back of my mind was the troubled thought that there was something wrong about placing a 12-year-old character in the middle of this action." "In what is essentially an exercise—a slick urban thriller—it seems to exploit the youth of the girl without really dealing with it." The New York Times' Janet Maslin wrote, "The Professional is much too sentimental to sound shockingly amoral in the least. Even in a finale of extravagant violence, it manages to be maudlin ... Mr. Oldman expresses most of the film's sadism as well as many of its misguidedly poetic sentiments."

    Léon: The Professional was nominated for seven César Awards in 1995, and Norman Stansfield has since been named by multiple publications as one of cinema's greatest villains.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Full credits (15)

    Executive Producer :

    Patrice Ledoux

    Line Producer :

    Claude Besson

    Director of Photography :

    Thierry Arbogast

    Press Attachés (film) :

    Gabrielle Mairesse, Stéphane Ribola

    Sound Editor :

    Bruno Tarrière

    Production Designer :

    Dan Weil

    Costume designer :

    Magali Guidasci

    Still Photographer :

    Patrick Canboulive

    Sound Recordist :

    Pierre Excoffier

    Screenwriter :

    Luc Besson

    Production Manager :

    Bernard Grenet

    Editor :

    Sylvie Landra

    Continuity supervisor :

    Sylvette Baudrot

    Music Composer :

    Éric Serra

    Sound mixers :

    William Flageollet, Gérard Lamps, François Groult

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :

    Crime/thriller, Drama, Action , Thriller

    Themes :

    Adolescence, Murder

    Production language :


    Production country :


    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 45 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Aspect ratio :


    Audio format :

    Dolby Digital