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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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300 ( 52)
Top Rated Movies #29 | 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:

If you want the job done right, hire a professional. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

23 February 1995 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

El perfecto asesino 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

According to Patrice Ledoux, Luc Besson planned Léon as filler. At the time, he had already started working on The Fifth Element (1997), but production was delayed due to Bruce Willis's schedule. Rather than dismiss the production team and lose his creative momentum, Besson wrote Léon. It took him only 30 days to write the script, and the shoot lasted only 90 days. As it turned out, Léon is now generally considered to be a far superior film to The Fifth Element. See more »

Goofs

When the fat man calls the cops, the antenna on the phone is longer than when Leon is behind him. 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

An extended cut, retitled 'Leon: version integrale' was released in French cinemas on June 26, 1996. This version is 26 minutes longer than the previously released version and includes, amongst others, one sequence that was removed from the film after the disastrous tests with L.A. preview audiences. This version of the film is available on various DVDs, and is usually called the 'International Cut'. New scenes found in the International Cut include:
  • Mathilda asking Leon to have sex with her and Leon refusing;
  • Leon explaining why he had to leave Italy and go to New York when he was 19 years old;
  • Mathilda and Leon sleeping together in a bed;
  • Mathilda threatening to shoot herself playing Russian roulette.
  • Leon and Mathilda hitting the home of a tattooed drug dealer, and setting fire to his supply of drugs;
  • New training missions where Mathilda learns the ropes of becoming an assassin.
  • Leon and Matilda going to a restaurant to celebrate her first hit
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alex Cross (2012) 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

See more »

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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