Le Professionnel

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Le Professionnel
Le Professionnel.jpg
Directed by Georges Lautner
Produced by Alain Belmondo
Written by Michel Audiard
Georges Lautner
Patrick Alexander (novel)
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean Desailly
Robert Hossein
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Henri Decaë
Edited by Michelle David
Release dates
21 October 1981
Running time
109 minutes
Language French
Budget FRF 20,000,000[1]
Box office 5,243,559 admissions (France)[2]

Le Professionnel (French pronunciation: ​[lə pʁɔfɛsjɔˈnɛl], 'The Professional') is a 1981 French action thriller film directed by French director Georges Lautner, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Desailly and Robert Hossein, based on the award-winning 1976 novel Death of a Thin-Skinned Animal by Patrick Alexander.

The music is composed by Ennio Morricone and the theme music "Chi Mai" is known worldwide.


French secret agent Josselin Beaumont is sent to kill Colonel Njala, the dictator of Malagawi, a fictional African country. However, before he manages to accomplish his mission, the political situation changes drastically and the French secret service resorts to handing over Beaumont to the Malagawian authorities. After a long, unfair trial, during which Beaumont is injected with drugs, he is sentenced to long-term penal servitude at a "re-education camp".

Following a daring escape with one of the other inmates, he returns to France and informs the French secret service of his presence, promising that he will kill Njala, who is in France for an official visit, thus getting his revenge on the people who betrayed him. The secret service responds by setting other agents on Beaumont's trail. However, he manages to remain one step ahead, humiliating and killing some of his major betrayers, including Rosen, the sadistic chief of the secret police. After Rosen falls in a gunfight, Beaumont switches their identity cards, spreading confusion within the secret service and temporarily reducing Njala's guard. Beaumont eventually tricks a secret service agent into shooting the dictator. While government officials confer with higher authorities, he slowly walks towards Njala's helicopter, but is shot dead by government agents, who have received the order to do so.


The film includes a famous car chase in the stairs of the Trocadéro.


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