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The Professional

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

French secret agent Joss Baumont (Belmondo) has been assigned the treacherous task of killing an African president; but, in a series of drastic political changes, the mission is negated. The tables turn on Baumont, as those who assigned him turn him in to the African authorities. Sentenced to long-term imprisonment, Baumont makes a daring escape with the intention of fulfilling the Secret Service’s murderous request as a reprisal and setting up a thrilling showdown.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Desailly, Cyrielle Clair, Marie-Christine Descouard, Elisabeth Margoni
  • Directors: Georges Lautner
  • Writers: Georges Lautner, Jacques Audiard, Michel Audiard, Patrick Alexander
  • Producers: Alain Belmondo, Alexandre Mnouchkine, Georges Dancigers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003JHXS6Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,963 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Professional" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By TauRus on June 4, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Feeling a little nostalgic for the movies I grew up with back in the USSR, I bought Le Professionel DVD from Amazon. I was looking so much forward to see this action movie and Belmondo whose movies I used to watch dozens of times in my childhood. What a frustration!!! Very bad PAL->NTSC conversion (many visible artifacts), extremely bad video transfer/encoding on DVD disc (blurry image), all audio tracks are mono, moreover they are poorly recorded which does not do justice to the famous Morricone theme. As much as I love the actor and the movie I do not recommend buying it. Shame on Image Entertainment for such a horrid DVD release.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Castro on October 18, 2009
Format: DVD
Jean-Paul Belmondo was often referred to as the "French Bogart" during much of the New Wave era in foreign cinema. After starring in classics such as Breathless and The Man From Rio, one could understand the comparison although each actor adopted a very different screen persona. Belmondo has always favored a lighter, humorous approach. By 1981, France had entered the "gritty antihero" phase long employed by Belmondo's American contemporaries Clint Eastwood and the late Steve McQueen. Of the movies produced during this period, Le Professionnel stands out as his best effort. Based on Patrick Alexander's 1976 novel Death of a Thin-Skinned Animal, the film version stars Belmondo as Joss Beaumont, a French government agent sent to assassinate a military dictator in the fictional African nation of Malagawi. Political winds quickly begin blowing in the opposite direction though, leaving Beaumont literally hanging out to dry. After making an easy escape from captivity, the now slightly unhinged professional decides to complete his mission while exacting payback on his former employers. By the end of the film he also manages to have not one, but three different women longing for his companionship.

The cast here is a huge plus. Former film director Robert Hossein is the sadistic Commissioner Rosen, who is obsessed with terminating Beaumont at any cost. The late Michel Beaune portrays Beaumont's sympathetic friend, Captain Valeras. Cyrielle Clair, Elisabeth Margoni, and Marie-Christine Descouard are Belmondo's love interests, with each woman adding their own take on their relationship with Beaumont. Jean-Louis Richard and Jean Desailly round things out as Beaumont's more hesitant pursuers.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Williams on September 11, 2004
Format: DVD
The plot revolves around the fact that French agent, Joss Baumont, is sent by his government to assassinate a ruthless and oppressive African dictator. Unfortunately, before his mission can be completed, the French decide that the dictator might be a useful ally; consequently, Baumont is "sacrificed" by his own agency and betrayed to the dictator's police. Baumont is imprisoned in a brutal African labor camp for two years, before he manages to escape. What follows next is a sort of vendetta against the African dictator and his former associates in the French secret service. Upon his escape, Baumont acts rather like a character without a soul, in that he seems completely indifferent to his ultimate fate. He proceeds to France with the intention of killing the African dictator (who conveniently has a scheduled state visit in Paris);however, he cannot resist the temptation to notify his former French colleagues of his plans. Naturally, what ensues is a game of cat and mouse, in which Baumont generally outwits his former comrades (who are now responsible for protecting the dictator during his state visit). Baumont does receive some assistance with his plans from his wife and from a few assorted characters;

however, he is largely on his own as he attempts to penetrate the security around the dictator. His most persistent antagonist is an unscrupulous police inspector named

Rosen. Rosen is not the least bit reluctant to sanction almost any method which yields the desired result-- the capture or killing of Baumont. This story has elements of humor, notably the scenes involving a prositute and her client and what amounts to an almost Wild West type of gunfight between Baumont and Rosen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2010
Format: DVD
One of Belmondo's biggest hits and featuring a memorable Ennio Morricone theme (Chi Mai) that also entered the UK top ten as the main title to BBC TV series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, 1981's Le Professionnel veers between good and bad. Introducing himself as "Joss Beaumont, espionage and brawls," it's not a bad description of the film itself. Sold out - or rather given away - by the French government that sent him before he could kill an African dictator, he escapes from prison and returns to France to finish off the job during a state visit from the corrupt politician, all the time goading the French secret services in an increasingly schizophrenic tale. On the one hand it's the kind of film that will throw in wildly over the top racist commanders, a lesbian threatening his wife with a bar of soap and a gunfight straight out of a Western with Robert Hossein's stone-cold government agent. Yet it's also smart enough to throw in a neat twist as to exactly how he plans to accomplish his hit and aware enough not to turn the dictator into a complete cartoon - having spent years in jail himself, he enjoys having the upper hand in negotiations with the French and even points out that they had three revolutions and five republics before settling on a civilised form of government but expect Africa to get it right in one. The pluses outweigh the minuses, and the Australian DVD includes both subtitled French soundtrack and dubbed English in a decent widescreen transfer, but no extras. (The French DVD has unsubtitled extras but only a dubbed English language option.)
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