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.
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...
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...
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