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Léon
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Léon

Léon (aka The Cleaner, aka The Professional) (1994) is a film written and directed by Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman.

In the film, Léon (played by Reno), a "cleaner" or professional assassin, saves the life of a twelve-year-old girl (played by Portman), after her family is killed by crooked DEA agents, and is obligated to take care of her. She tries to convince him to teach her his trade so she can avenge her family's murderer; in return, she may teach him a little humanity.

Léon is to some extent an English-language variation on the theme of Besson's earlier film, Nikita. Besson has said he considers Jean Reno's character in Nikita (a cleaner) to be a 'cousin' of Léon.

There is a version marketed in the US as the "International Version", which is also referred to as Version Intégrale, that has an extra 20-odd minutes of footage. It makes the film much more Lolita-like, and although it handles the situation exceptionally well this was felt to be too risqué for the US audience.

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