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Léon: The Professional

1994 film by Luc Besson

Léon: The Professional (French: Léon; also known as The Professional) is a 1994 film about a professional assassin who takes in a young girl after her family is killed.

Written and directed by Luc Besson.
He moves without sound. Kills without emotion. Disappears without trace.taglines



Mathilda: [on telephone] Hello?
Caller: This is Margueritte McAllister, headmistress of the Spencer School for Girls in Wildwood, New Jersey. Is Mr. or Mrs. Lando home?
Mathilda: [faking deeper voice] Yes, this is she.
Caller: Mrs. Lando, when your husband enrolled Mathilda at Spencer, he told us she had "problems". Well, as you know, we pride ourselves on turning troubled girls into healthy, productive young women. But if they are not here, there is very little we can do. Now, Mathilda left school without permission nearly two weeks ago. I know your husband paid tuition in advance for a year, but if you will refer to page twenty of the rules and regulations manual we sent you, you will see you will see that unless there is a valid excuse for prolonged absence, your tuition will be forfeit.
Mathilda: She's dead. [She hangs up.]

Léon: I'm sorry about your father.
Mathilda: If somebody didn't do it, one day or another I would've probably done it myself.
Léon: Your mother, she —
Mathilda: She's not my mother! And my sister — she wanted to lose some weight anyway. Bet she never looked better. She's not even my real sister. Just a half-sister, and not a good half at that.
Léon: If you couldn't stand them, why are you crying?
Mathilda: Because they killed my brother! What the hell did he do? Four years old... he never used to cry. He just used to sit next to me and cuddle. I was more of a mother to him than that goddamn pig ever was!

Mathilda: Leon, what exactly do you do for a living?
Léon: Cleaner.
Mathilda: You mean you're a hit man?
Léon [reluctantly]: Yeah.
Mathilda: Cool.
Mathilda: Do you "clean" anyone?
Léon: No women, no kids. That's the rules.
Mathilda: How much would it cost to hire someone to get those dirtbags who killed my brother?
Léon: Five grand a head.
Mathilda: Wow. How about this: I work for you, and in exchange, you teach me how to clean. Hmmm? What do you think? I'll clean your place, I'll do the shopping, I'll even wash your clothes. Is it a deal?
Léon: No, it's not a deal.
Mathilda: What do you want me to do? I've got no place to go.
Léon: You've had a rough day today. Go to sleep now. We'll see in the morning.

Léon: You sleep well? [Mathilda nods.] Good. After breakfast you gotta take off.
Mathilda: Where to?
Léon: Not my problem.
Mathilda: [setting note in front of Léon]: Read it.
Léon: Uh — [stares blankly at note.]
Mathilda: You don't know how to read.
Léon: I'm learning, but I've had a lot of work lately, so... I'm a little behind. What's it say?
Mathilda: I've decided what I want to do with my life. I wanna be a cleaner.
Léon: You wanna be a cleaner? [sets a pistol on table] Here, take it. It's a goodbye gift. Go clean — but not with me! I work alone, understand? Alone!
Mathilda: Bonnie and Clyde didn't work alone! Thelma and Louise didn't work alone! And they were the best.

Léon: Tony, all the money I make that you keep for me —
Tony: You need some money?
Léon: Just curious. 'Cause I've been working for a long time and I haven't done anything with my money.
Tony: You met a woman.
Léon: No.
Tony: Léon... Léon, you gotta be careful with women. Remember when you first arrived in this country? When I took you in you were still wet behind the fuckin' ears, and already you were in deep shit because of a woman. Don't forget that, Léon.
Léon: I wish I could sometimes. You know, about my money — maybe I could give a little to someone, you know, to help out.
Tony: Hey, it's your money. I mean, I'm just holding it for you, like a bank. Except better than a bank, 'cause you know banks always get knocked off. No one knocks off old Tony.

Officer 1: We know you're a busy man and we'll try to make this as short as possible. Now if you just take us step by step through exactly what happened.
Norman Stansfield: The guy was here, he went for his gun. Bang! We shot him.
Officer 2: Where exactly were the kids?
Norman Stansfield: I don't know! They should have been at school, don't you think?
Officer 1: But in the statement you said you were the first man in, didn't you see any kids?
Officer 2: The door was broken, what happened? Did you follow the procedure?
Norman Stansfield: I lost a good man here. What the fuck do you want with me?
Officer 2: Cooperation.
Norman Stansfield: I haven't got TIME for this Mickey Mouse bullshit! You want cooperation? Come up my office, will you? Room 4602.

[Mathilda and Léon complete a hit together on a man who possesses cocaine. Mathilda proceeds to the counter with the cocaine on it and picks up a flammable liquid.]
Léon: What are you doing?
Mathilda: You said no women or kids. Who do you think this is going to kill, donkeys and monkeys?
[Mathilda pours the liquid over the cocaine, lights a match, and sets it on fire.]
Mathilda: [in tears] Now... it's clean.
Léon: Let's get out of here. [Pulls Mathilda out of the room with him.]

[Mathilda has entered Stansfield's office building by faking a food delivery; Stansfield has cornered her in a restroom.]
Norman Stansfield: Special delivery, huh? Let me guess. Chinese? Thai, maybe? I've got it — Italian food. What's your name, angel?
Mathilda: Mathilda.
Norman Stansfield: Mathilda, I want you to set the sack on the floor. Good. [He draws a pistol.] And now, I want you to tell me everything you know about Italian food... and don't forget the name of the chef who fixed it for me.
Mathilda: Nobody sent me. I do business for myself.
Norman Stansfield: So, th-th-this, this is something personal, is it? What filthy piece of shit... did I do now?
Mathilda: You killed my brother.
Norman Stansfield: I'm sorry. [he moves in close to Mathilda.] And — you wanna join him?
Mathilda: No.
Norman Stansfield: It's always the same thing. It's when you start to become really afraid of death that you learn to appreciate life. Do you like life, sweetheart?
Mathilda: [whispering] Yes.
Norman Stansfield: That's good — because I take no pleasure in taking a life if it's from a person who doesn't care about it.

[In the restroom, Stansfield reacts to the news of Malky's death at the hands of Leon]
Willie: I think it was something personal.
Norman Stansfield: [whispering] Death is... whimsical today.

SWAT Team Leader: Alpha team, final position, ready to go.
Norman Stansfield: Be careful.
SWAT Team Leader: Alpha team, man down, man down.
Norman Stansfield: I told you. Benny, bring me everyone.
Benny: What do you mean "everyone"?
Norman Stansfield: EV-ERY-ONE!!

[Stansfield has shot Leon in the back of the head.]
Leon: Stansfield?
Norman Stansfield: At your service.
Leon: [giving Stansfield something] This... is from... Mathilda...
Norman Stansfield: [sees that it's a pin for a grenade and opens Leon's vest to find grenades] Shit.
[The building explodes, killing Leon and Stansfield.]

Tony: In the meantime, all you gotta do is come here every once in a while and I'll dish it out so's you can have a little fun. Okay? Here's a hundred bucks to start with.
Mathilda: Can't I get a job instead?
Tony: A job? What the hell can you do?
Mathilda: I can "clean".
Tony: I ain't got no work for a twelve-year-old kid, so get it out of your goddamn head! It's OVER! The game's OVER! Léon's DEAD!
[Mathilda breaks down in tears.]
Tony: [softly] Come on. You think I ain't hurtin' too? But he's dead. And you're gonna forget all this craziness and get your little ass back to school. Capisce? [Starts to get impatient] Now take this money, and get the hell outta here, and don't let me see your face till next month, cause something tells me I'm about to lose my famous kind streak!

[Mathilda is at the Spencer School for Girls.]
Mathilda: My parents... d-died in a car accident about four weeks ago. It was terrible.
Headmistress: You know, we didn't have the time to get to know one another when you first came here. But I want you to know that I'm not the kind of woman that would let down a child — whatever her situation, whatever her mistake. So I'm going to help you and do my best to welcome you here again. But on one condition: you have to stop lying to me, Mathilda. I want you to take a chance, and trust me, and tell me what happened to you.
Mathilda: Okay. My family got shot down by D.E.A. officers because of a drug problem. I left with the greatest guy on earth. He was a hit man — the best in town. But he died this morning... and if you don't help me, I'll be dead by tonight.

Mathilda: I don't wanna lose you, Leon.
Léon: You're not going to lose me. You've given me a taste for life. I wanna be happy. Sleep in a bed, have roots. And you'll never be alone again, Mathilda. Please, go now, baby, go. Calm down, go now, go.

About Léon: The ProfessionalEdit

  • I was 11 years old when I first read the script; and I remember reading it, I was sitting in my dad's study sitting in his chair; and I read it and I was crying at the end. I was a very sort of emotional little kid. My parents said, there is no way you're doing this movie; this is absolutely inappropriate for a child your age to do this film. And I was like; this is the greatest thing I've ever read; you will ruin my life, and I was fighting with them so much.


  • He moves without sound. Kills without emotion. Disappears without trace.
  • A perfect assassin. An innocent girl. They have nothing left to lose except each other. He moves without sound. Kills without emotion. Disappears without trace. Only a 12 year old girl... knows his weakness.
  • You can't stop what you can't see.


External linksEdit