This is an entertaining and quite gripping movie.
He is a professional after all and was willing to risk his life to finish his mission from a couple of years back. The game of cat and mouse was pretty good and the way the story ended was surprising with the professional giving his old bosses a dilemma on how to resolve the mission. Worth watching definitely.
Great actor, Good movie, Bad transfer
TauRus | Illinois, USA | 06/04/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Pamela Williams | Saginaw, Texas USA | 09/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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. Ultimately, a certain measure of justice prevails in that some of the most villainous characters suffer a well deserved demise. However, the ending of the story (while predictable) is somewhat unsatisfying--- as the viewer is left only with an empty feeling regarding the pointlessness and futility of Baumont's fatal choices. Still, this film is worth viewing and owning for any true Belmondo fan. On the whole, it was more entertaining than some French films which have been more critically acclaimed."
Mike | FL | 05/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen this movie I think in the late 80s or early 90s. I have been looking around for this movie and I finally find it here. It is a great movie one of a kind. Belmondo did a great job. I had the theme song stuck in my head for so long and I finally I have to hear it again. I would suggest that every classic movie lovers should definitely watch this movie. Well, for me I'm going to watch it again for the N times..."
Joseph M. Tages II | Anaheim CA USA | 10/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. Director Georges Lautner is heavily influenced by Sergio Leone here, with frequent close-ups of the actors done in Leone's highly innovative style. This works very much in his favor, in particular during Beaumont and Rosen's Leone-inspired duel scene. (Belmondo was once a boxer, so his rugged features add much to the character.) Lautner is aided by Oscar-winning composer and frequent Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone, who provided a haunting score with the creation of Chi Mai for this film. It is possibly Morricone's best known work next to the theme music for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Chi Mai is an enchanting, beautiful, and melancholic piece that suits both Beaumont's quest and his final fate quite superbly.
I own two different versions of this film: In French, with either English subtitles or Spanish dubbing. They were likely taken off European PAL releases so I can't vouch for the quality of any Region 1 transfers as the DVD is currently unavailable in this country. Even so, I highly recommend it to cinema lovers on both sides of the pond. If you manage to obtain a non-regional print that plays on a PC or video game console, please do not hesitate. It's not a long film and the plot is anything but convoluted. There is a very brief nude scene on Margony's part but no explicit sex or violence. That's not what Belmondo's films are about. Instead, he mixes action and drama with an inimitable knack for levity. He also performs his own stunts as in many previous movies. Much of the younger Belmondo of the 50's and 60's is still present here, echoing the charming daredevil of times gone by.
On a personal note, I have watched this movie several times over and it is among my top 5 favorite films of all time. Morricone's Chi Mai plays frequently on my blog. I was even lucky enough to obtain Belmondo's personal signature on a vintage poster advertising the film along with two photo cards. They are framed atop my desk as I write this review and I consider them rare gems among my autograph collection. Seek out this movie and enjoy it! You're likely to consider it well worth your time."
Belmondo at his best
Ashot Mkrtchiyan | San Jose, CA USA | 08/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fantastic movie. Very believable characters, nice acting for the most part, great score by Morricone. Numerous unforgettable classic scenes -- enough for several years' worth of Hollywood production.
One of the best French movies. Can watch over and over.
The DVD is very good. Nice quality, French / English soundtracks, subtitles. The English translation is inferior to the French original, though."