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La Femme Nikita (Widescreen Special Edition) (1990)

Anne Parillaud , Marc Duret , Luc Besson    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 58.08
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Frequently Bought Together

La Femme Nikita (Widescreen Special Edition) (1990) + La Femme Nikita: The Complete First Season + La Femme Nikita: The Complete Second Season
Price For All Three: CDN$ 88.04

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Product Details

Product Description


French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) broke the commercial taboo against female-driven action movies with this seminal, seductively slick film about a violent street punk (Anne Parillaud) trained to become a smooth, stylish assassin. Though it amounts, in the end, to little more than disposable pop, the film has a cohesiveness in style and tone--akin to the early James Bond films--that gives it a sense of integrity. Parillaud is compelling both as a wild child and chic-but-lethal pro (trained in good manners by none other than Jeanne Moreau). Tchéky Karyo is also good as the cop mentor who develops feelings for her. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Action Packed June 25 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of my favorite French Films of all time. Lovely story of a girl who is taken from a bad place and put into a difficult position of being an assassin. Wonderfully directed and acted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great film May 14 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I originally watched this film on pirate satellite in Central America with English subtitles. Loved every moment of it and simply a joy to see again after almost 20 years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Art? No, but a smart and fun action film. April 13 2014
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
A drugged out. almost brain-dead punk full of attitude and anger, Nikita is caught after helping rob a drug store, leaving several cops dead. She’s given a choice. Accept a quiet death penalty, or agree to be trained to be a secret government assassin. A good part of the film (and arguably the most interesting) is her training itself, as Nikita’s rebellious nature keeps getting her pushed to the edge of getting kicked out (and hence executed), while her strange sullen sexiness begins to seduce her Henry Higgins, an agent assigned to oversee her who finds himself getting more than a bit obsessed. Meanwhile, the always wonderful Jeanne Moreau tries to teach this nihilistic punk how to come off as a woman of the world, the better to be able to get close to her targets.

This is often argued to be a film of style over substance, and in the big picture that’s probably fair. And it didn't hold up quite as well on a recent 2nd viewing 20+ years later as I hoped. But still, this spends more time on human interaction and emotion, and less on blowing stuff up than almost any of its contemporary counterparts, Not art, but for a popcorn movie smart, inventive and fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The original is still the best July 31 2003
After years of remakes and cable shows, I see this film today and there is a combined sense of romance and danger that can't be recreated by anyone but Besson. BLACK CAT was decent, POINT OF NO RETURN was sickening and the cable show constantly cheapens and makes light of the character's weaknesses and sexuality. The story, yes. The action, yes. The cinematography, you know it. But the one thing that keeps me coming back for this film is it's aura and Anne's unique and powerful screen presence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars La Femme Nikita is a MASTERPIECE July 10 2003
By Bob
This film is incredible. If you have seen Point of No Return starring Bridget Fonda, you have seen a Hollywood-ified scene by scene interpretation of this piece of art. The french original has a mood all its own, a very sexy, foreboding and enticing attitude that grabs you by the balls and refuses to let go for over two hours...but you enjoy it so much that it seems like much less.It is a must see for anyone into action, feminist, artistic, creative, stylized,and critical films.
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The movie gets five stars, but this new special edition disc gets one. I own the previous MGM release of this movie which was widely known to have many picture and subtitle problems. I loved the movie enough to purchase this new version. With my fingers crossed, I popped the disc in...
...zut alors! The anamorphic widescreen picture quality is still lousy. Grainy, occasionally pixelized. Look at patterns in the background during the movie and the problems are quite evident. For example, in one scene when Nikita is in training and chatting with her trainer Bob in her room, a grill on a piece of furniture on the left side of the screen creates a hugely distracting pattern that always diverts my eye.

But we get some special features with this special edition, right? Only with the most liberal definition of "special." These empty chats and documentaries are considered standard features for most other DVDs, so I'm not sure what we're supposed to think is special. There's even an easter egg, though it's not hidden, so I guess it's just an egg. But since it's just a short set of film clips, not all that exciting, I guess it's a rotten egg.
There are a few improvements. The English subtitles are better less distracting to those of you who speak French. The 5.1 soundtrack is still solid, though not noticeably better than the one on the original MGM disc. I'm not sure if it was remixed. If you don't own a copy of this movie, by all means buy the special edition. If you own the previous version, learn from my mistake and either keep you original version or sell it and buy a used copy of the special edition. Or lobby MGM for a real "special" edition.
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I saw this movie after I had seen its American copy, Point of no Return. I had not been expecting much, but was blown away. Anne Parillaud projects a remarkable sense of uncaring menace as the "before" street punk. No small part of this is the fact that she does not look very physically imposing ( Waif-like actually), but manages to make her physically dominant scenes believeable.
The pace and images in the film are clean and easy to follow, even in subtitled french.
Highly recommended, a much better film that Point of No Return. (Fonda fans should consider Kiss of the Dragon, instead)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Do you speak French? Dec 8 2002
If not then stay away from this thing. It does not translate at all. Jeez, you would think we'd at least get an accent or two considering that the setting is obviously somewhere in Europe for crying out loud?
Anne Parillaud plays the killer in desperate need of a [...] enhancement. The French guy from The Patriot plays her opposite, very convincingly too if you turn off the sound. Incredibly, this movie is much better in French without the subtitles. Better than a sleeping pill. [...]
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