The Professional (Le professionnel) (1981)

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Released 23-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 103:43
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Georges Lautner
Madman Entertainment
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo
Jean Desailly
Robert Hossein
Michel Beaune
Cyrielle Clair
Jean-Louis Richard
Sidiki Bakaba
Pierre Saintons
Marie-Christine Descouard
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu
Elisabeth Margoni
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Ennio Morricone

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Jean-Paul Belmondo was often typecast as an action/adventure hero in the 1970s and 1980s.The highly popular 1981 film Le Professionnel, is an example of such films. Le Professionnel was directed by Georges Lautner and was written by Michel Audiard, Jacques Audiard and Lautner. The film is based on the 1976 novel Death of a Thin-Skinned Animal by Patrick Alexander.

    Le Professionnel opens in the African republic – Malagawi, where French Secret Agent Josselin Beaumont (Belmondo) is on trial. Beaumont was initially sent to Malagawi on a mission to assassinate President N'Jala (Pierre Saintons), but when the political situation between France and Malagasy suddenly changes, the French Secret Service decide not to go ahead with the mission and notify the Malagasy authorities of Beaumont’s attempt to assassinate their President.

    Imprisoned for two years in Malagawi, Beaumont waits to make his daring escape back to Paris and take revenge on those who betrayed him.

    Driven by witty dialogue, only Belmondo could get away with, fistfights galore and a car chase which features the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop; Le Professionnel is an enjoyable revenge flick.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in 1:66:1 16x9 enhanced widescreen, the transfer is satisfactory considering the age of the film. The colour scheme is natural and the transfer at most times sharp and defined. Shadow detail is equally adequate.

    Mild film grain and assorted artefacts appear throughout the feature film. The optional subtitles for the French dialogue are presented in a clear white font.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only a 2.0 mono French soundtrack available on this DVD. This soundtrack is clear and does not exhibit any problems

    The impressive score by Ennio Morricone is the emotional backbone of the thriller, as it explores the emotional plight of Belomondo’s noir anti-hero, who must confront former friends, partners and lovers on his return to Paris.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu

    A still derived from the theatrical poster with options for 12 scene selections and subtitle options.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This title is currently only available in R4 as part of the ‘Best French Crime Flicks' boxset from Madman, or in the yet to be released ‘French Screen Icons – Jean-Paul Belmondo 3’ boxset.

    Overseas this title, bar the USA, was released in a similar boxset fashion:

    R1 USA (Image Entertainment) - with an additional 2.0 isolated music score and additional English (dubbed) 2.0 soundtrack.

    R2 (Optimum) –released only as part of the Screen Icons: Jean-Paul Belmondo boxed set. This release is identical to the local release, except for a 1:78.1 transfer.

    R2 (Studio Canal) – only as part of a 3-Disc Belmondo boxset. This release has French and English (dubbed) mono soundtracks, 2 image poster gallery and theatrical trailer. No subtitles are available on this release.


    Driven by witty dialogue, only Belmondo could get away with, fistfights galore and a car chase which features the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop; Le Professionnel is an enjoyable revenge flick. The DVD release is satisfactory and currently available in a reasonably priced boxset.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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