The professional

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German title The professional
Original title Le Professionnel
The profi 1981.svg
Country of production France
original language French
Publishing year 1981
length 104 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Georges Lautner
script Patrick Alexander (novel),
Michel Audiard ,
Georges Lautner
production Alain Belmondo
music Ennio Morricone
camera Henri Decaë
cut Michelle David

The Professional ( Le Professionnel ) is a French action film released in 1981 and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo . The film opened in German cinemas on January 8, 1982.


The French secret agent Josselin "Joss" Beaumont is sent to the African country of Malagawi to kill the dictator and president there. Before that happens, the political situation in France suddenly changes and the killing of the Malagawian president is no longer wanted. Since it is too late to keep Beaumont from doing his job, he will be betrayed to Malagawi. He is arrested by the Malaysian authorities, tried on drugs and sentenced to life in a forced labor camp in a show trial.

After two years, Beaumont managed to escape with the help of a local inmate who was killed while trying to escape. He returns to France to take revenge. To this end, he wants to hold on to his order to kill the Malagasy president, because he is expected as a state guest in France in the next few days. Beaumont notifies his former superior, Colonel Martin, of his intention by means of an encrypted telegram. The latter tries everything to prevent his former agent from carrying out his plan and sends agents to him. In particular, Rosen, an ambitious commissioner and head of a rude special unit, stands out. Rosen and his people put Beaumont's wife under massive pressure to find out where he was. There is a pistol duel between Beaumont and Rosen, in which Beaumont shoots Rosen.

Finally, through a ruse and with the help of the African President's favorite prostitute, Beaumont succeeds in breaking into the heavily guarded castle in which the President is staying and still completing his "assignment": he gives the President his empty pistol, and when he appears at the window with gun in hand, Assistant Inspector Farges from Rosen's troop accidentally shoots the President with a sniper rifle. Beaumont leaves the castle unhindered and walks towards a helicopter ready to take off. Colonel Martin informs the Minister of the Interior, who finally gives the order to shoot, so that Beaumont is shot by Farges at the last moment.


The film is based on the novel Death of a Thin Skinned Animal by Patrick Alexander . The location of the outdoor scenes set in Africa was the French nature reserve Camargue . The country of Malagawi to which the protagonist is sent is purely fictional. The castle at the end of the film in which the president was billeted is Maintenon Castle in Eure-et-Loir.


In the film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra there are some allusions to the professional . But the Russian film Bumer and the Serbian film Klopka - The Trap are also based on the sound montage of the film.


"Lautner's Belmondo film is a routine mix of agent and underworld film that wants to denounce the inhuman methods of politicians and secret services, but is not exactly squeamish when it comes to the portrayal of violence."

“Georges Lautner shot the gripping, sometimes brutal spy thriller, which he tailored entirely to France's action star Jean-Paul Belmondo. Brilliant: the music of Ennio Morricone. "


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Der Profi . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , May 2012 (PDF; test number: 52 839 V).
  2. Release info according to IMDb
  3. Filming locations according to IMDb
  4. The professional. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  5. Film review on
  6. a b Awards according to IMDb