Leon (film)

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German title Leon
Original title Lionheart
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length 104 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Sheldon Lettich
script Sheldon Lettich,
Jean-Claude van Damme
production Ash R.Sha ,
Eric Karson
music John Scott ,
Ken Tamplin
camera Robert C. New
cut Mark Conte

Leon is an American action film from 1990 directed by Sheldon Lettich . The main role of the legionnaire Leon is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme .


Because his brother was doused with petrol by drug dealers and set on fire, the legionnaire Leon flees the French Foreign Legion to grant his dying brother the last wish. He had wished to see Leon's face one last time. In New York arrived harbor, Leon gets to Joshua, organized an African American handicapped workers, illegal street fighting. When Leon defeats an opponent unexpectedly quickly, Joshua offers him his help in finding his brother. When Leon finds the hospital and his brother, however, it is already too late. His brother died a few days earlier, leaving behind a woman with a child and a mountain of unpaid bills. Together with Joshua, Leon sets out to find his sister-in-law and her daughter to support them. However, his sister-in-law refuses any help on his part. Then Leon and Joshua develop a plan to still be able to give the family money.

In order to earn enough money, Joshua brings Leon together with the "Lady". She organized fights for high society in underground car parks . Leon soon made a name for himself in these underground battles and earned a lot of money with it. However, the "lady" also has private interests in her Topfighter, but the latter consistently opposes the approaches. To get back at Leon, she arranges a fight with the overpowering Attila, who first plays with his opponents and then brutally annihilates them. With a prepared video tape from Attila, she persuades Leon to compete against him, and potent financiers to risky bets on the outcome of the fight.

After his escape, two legionaries were assigned to Leon to bring him back. These can catch him and seriously injure him by breaking two ribs. But by a lucky circumstance, Leon escapes again. Attila quickly notices Leon's injury during the fight and tries to force him to give up by hitting the broken ribs hard. Joshua also tries to persuade Leon to give up, believing that Attila is too strong for him. This appeal by Joshuas awakens Leon's fighting spirit and ultimately succeeds in defeating Attila.

The legionaries who are supposed to bring Leon back to the Foreign Legion learn of Leon's fate and that of the family. Out of compassion, they release him. Leon returns to his sister-in-law, her daughter and Joshua.


"Story interspersed with elements of soap opera as a vehicle for the bloody kickboxing interludes of muscle star Jean-Claude Van Damme."

“A dumb action film tailored entirely to the main actor, which at least has some good martial arts sequences. That was it. Only for die-hard Van Damme fans! "


  • For the film, real street fighters were selected as opponents for van Damme in places.
  • The TV version was re-dubbed.
  • There are two DVD versions: one FSK: 16 and an unabridged, formerly indexed version FSK: 18. The German FSK-18 VHS was slightly shortened in 2 settings at the beginning and was indicated until December 2014. After a re-examination by the FSK, it was released in full from the age of 18.
  • The film grossed over $ 24 million in the United States.
  • In Germany, the film opened in cinemas on October 4, 1990 and was seen by 632,981 viewers.
  • In the English original the film is called Lionheart (in German Lionheart). There Van Damme is also called Lyon and not Léon, which explains the derivation to Lion (Leo) and Lionheart. In the German dubbing it is called the Lionheart, but the derivation of Léon is lost.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Leon . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Leon. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. ^ Leon on prisma.de , accessed on November 14, 2012
  4. ^ Lionheart (1991) on boxofficemojo.com (English), accessed November 14, 2012
  5. TOP 100 DEUTSCHLAND 1990 on insidekino.de , accessed on November 14, 2012