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Mona Lisa (1986, Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins)

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Neil Jordan co-wrote and directed this visually stunning, brutal but sensitive study of a small-time London crook (Bob Hoskins), recently released from prison, whose slimy boss (the astonishingly frightening Michael Caine) gives him the job of chauffeuring a high-priced call girl (Cathy Tyson).

Initially wary of each other, the hood and the hooker develop a tender relationship, and he complies when she asks him to help her find a friend, another young prostitute; in the process, he discovers depths of degradation that horrify even his jaded sensibilities. Remarkable performances; extraordinary direction.

Sammi Davis was a convent-educated 21-year-old with scant dramatic training when she was hired to play the teenage prostitute in Mona Lisa.

production details
UK | 104 minutes | 1986

Director: Neil Jordan
Producers: Chris Brown, Patrick Cassavetti, Ray Cooper
Director of Photography: Roger Pratt
Editor: Lesley Walker
Music: Michael Kamen
Script: Neil Jordan, David Leland
Production Design: Jamie Leonard

cast
Raad Rawi as Arab Servant
Kate Hardie as Cathy
Michael Caine as Mortwell
Pauline Melville as George’s Wife
Bob Hoskins as George
Cathy Tyson as Simone
Robbie Coltrane as Thomas
Clarke Peters as Anderson
Zoë Nathenson as Jeannie
Sammi Davis as May
Joe Brown as Dudley
Hossein Karimbeik as Raschid
David Halliwell as Tim Devlin
Maggie O’Neill as Girl in Paradise Club
Perry Fenwick as Pimp
Gary Cady as Hotel Waiter
Richard Strange as Pornshop Man
Kenny Baker as Busker
Jack Purvis as Busker
Bill Moore as Busker
Rod Bedall as Terry
Dawn Archibald as Wig Girl in Club