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Leon [DVD] [1995]

Jean Reno , Gary Oldman , Luc Besson    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)
Price: £3.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Leon [DVD] [1995] + Ronin [DVD] [1998] + Heat [DVD] [1995]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, Peter Appel
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Greek, Icelandic
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Buena Vista
  • DVD Release Date: 15 May 2000
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R84D
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,001 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

English language thriller from Luc Besson, the director of 'Nikita'. Gary Oldman plays Norman Stansfield, a psychotic government official whose actions provide the catalyst for murder on the New York streets. When a young girl named Mathilda (Natalie Portman) witnesses her family being gunned down by Oldman's team of corrupt cops, she teams up with lone hitman Leon (Jean Reno) to take revenge. Portman made her movie debut with this film.


Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) made his American directorial debut with this stylised thriller about a French hit man (Jean Reno) who takes in an American girl (Natalie Portman) being pursued by a corrupt killer cop (Gary Oldman). Oldman is a little more unhinged than he should be, but there is something genuinely irresistible about the story line and the relationship between Reno and Portman. Rather than cave in to the cookie-cutter look and feel of American action pictures, Besson brings a bit of his glossy style from French hits La Femme Nikita and Subway to the production of The Professional, and the results are refreshing even if the bullets and explosions are awfully familiar.--Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon - brilliant - one of Besson's best!! 8 Dec 2002
By Zebedee
Format:VHS Tape
Leon is amongst my favourite films (incl. Dernier Combat, Subway and Big Blue). Film follows the story of an 11-year old girl (Nathalie Portman) and hit man (Jean Reno) who takes Portman under his wing after her family is killed by corrupt cop (Gary Oldman).
Oldman delivers a superb performance in his portrayal of a psychotic, drug snorting, truly unpleasant villian (listens to Beethoven's symphony to inspire him before a killing - both comic and chilling; somehow this and True Romance's pimp roles seem made for Oldman)!
Besson's talent is evident in his portrayal of the relationship between Reno and Portman. He deals with delicate themes such as Portman being the adult at times - she's a mother to her brother, wanting to appear mature as she smokes her cigarette when she first meets Leon vs. Leon playing the father figure/professional hitman role yet being a child himself, is moving; the sexual chemistry between the characters is warm and natural without being sordid. Superb film - not to be missed.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My "Desert Island" film. 23 Sep 2005
By A Customer
I'm a great film buff with diverse tastes and I often wonder which film I'd want with me if I were stranded on that mythical desert island. Time and again though I come up with the same answer: Leon.
I can't fault this film. Luc Besson is a true artist (I've thoroughly enjoyed his work on every occasion) and this is surely his finest achievement. The casting is truly inspired. I cannot imagine another actor bettering Jean Reno's portrayal of the hitman with a heart.
That said though, the thing that stunned me on first viewing, and on each subsequent viewing, is Natalie Portman's performance as Mathilda. I think I'm correct in saying that she was thirteen years old when Leon was filmed and I cannot understand how someone so young could demonstrate such maturity. She is an absolute 'natural', and perfectly cast.
Finally, I was very impressed by the way Besson dealt with the sensitive subject of their 'relationship'. He manages to convey the warmth without making the viewer feel uncomfortable about the (20 year?) age difference. This becomes more important in the 'director's cut' which contains an extra 20 mins of film which explores their relationship in greater depth; Mathilda has 'designs' on Leon, but he keeps things platonic. Beautifully handled.
If you haven't seen this film you owe it to yourself to give it a viewing. A pity there are only 5 stars available!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ,GREAT MOVIE 15 Sep 2006
By sean paul mccann VINE VOICE
Leon is a film that on the outside looks like a film about a hitman that avenges a little girls grief by going after those that killed her family,fair enough if thats what you saw,in truth it is a deeper movie than that,a movie that shows the meaning of love and what one will do to show it and spare another.

The film is great and gary oldman stars as a cop that is as evil as those he puts away and when one of his drug sellers takes some himself the outcome aint pretty.The character of leon who is supposed to be the good guy isnt much better,he is a cold killer,who is paid to kill without need for question or thought and in the middle of these two is natalie portmans character,a 12 year old girl chased by one protected by the other.

The film explores the relationship between man and child and how a child can soften the heart and maybe even the senses when you truly care for them.There is blood here,there is drama,chases and more more,this is a great film,if you havent seen this then you really should.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and moving film 28 Aug 2002
By Jeffrey Davis VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
Despite the violence (which is never gratuitous anyway) this is a touchingly moving and sometimes funny film which explores the relationship between a hitman (played in a brilliantly understated way by Jean Reno)and a twelve year old orphaned girl Mathilda (Natalie Portman in her best performance to date.)
Gary Oldman gives a truly sinister performance as a psychotically murderous corrupt cop (the enemy of both Leon and Mathilda.)
The humour provides some light hearted relief ( ie Mathilda's impersonation of Madonna, Marilyn Monroe in "Happy Birthday Mr. President" and a great Charlie Chaplin) also Leon's attempt at John Wayne is a nice moment.
The musical score by Eric Serra is very good although, presumably, for copyright reasons, the excellent single "Venus as a Boy" by the Icelandic singer and actress Bjork is not included on the soundtrack but it is available separately at budget price.
One of my favourite moments is when Mathilda, having just been rescued from Oldman's murderous colleagues by Leon, asks him his name.
On hearing what it is she replies "Cute name" at which point Leon spills his glass of milk all over himself! a nice moment in an intelligent, original and moving film.
The film avoids being exploitative due to the sensitivity of its direction and through the intelligent performances by its leading actors.
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164 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'EVERYONE!!!' 16 Aug 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Back in the day when Luc Besson had standards and Natalie Portman could act this action film gave a fresh lease of life to the words 'overblown', 'intense', and that now hackneyed, abused and bedraggled word, 'passionate' (in its old meaning of intense feelings that controlled your every action, not ones that led to your part-time hobby, or doing your job ok).

The three leads, Reno, Portman and Oldman are possessed, driving the story to an amazing climax. And Besson fills the screen with meaning and purpose, delivering the kind of scenes that Hollywood includes in schmaltzy tributes to the magic of the cinema. The film is a genre unto itself - popcorn art-house. The continental style of Besson, the focus on Little Italy, presents New York with a fresh perspective even now.

The main story sounds controversial, the developing love between a hitman in his 40s and a 12 year old girl arguably more emotionally mature than him, and it is. Some people see Leon as only a father figure for the girl, Mathilda, but no, while it is love it is not familial love. However, Reno plays Leon in such an intelligent and sensitive way that the film never becomes distasteful nor illegal and the purity of the love remains, even if it hints at a future.

Gary Oldman is supremely talented in all of his films, an excellent Beethoven, subsumed entirely into Mason Verger, and magically metamorphosised into a human pair of slippers as Commissioner Gordon, but rewatching Leon now makes you realise that any role in which he doesn't play an out and out villain is a tragic art crime. He was born to play the kind of evil lunatic he is in Leon (and as good as Heath was, I would have loved to have seen Oldman as the Joker).
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