Inseparable from “Professional” to be seen again this Monday, September 18 at 9:10 p.m. on France 3, the song “Chi Mai” was not originally written for the film with Jean-Paul Belmondo.
In everyone’s minds, “Chi Mai” is THE “Professional” music. It is with this piece written by Ennio Morricone that the film by Georges Lautner, released in 1981 and broadcast this Monday September 18 at 9:10 p.m. on France 3, ends. It is also this music, performed by the musicians of the Republican Guard, which was chosen for the national tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo at Les Invalides, on September 9, 2021, a few days after his death.
And yet, Ennio Morricone's piece was absolutely not written for "The Professional". “Chi Mai” was actually composed ten years ago. Originally, this music was written for the Italian film "Maddalena", directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz in 1971, and in which Lisa Gastoni plays a married woman who falls madly in love with a priest.
It was Jean-Paul Belmondo, who had heard Ennio Morricone's composition on the radio, who insisted that it be included in the soundtrack of the film "The Professional". A decision that turns out to be major for the feature film, since it gives a final sequence that is as unforgettable as it is moving. So much so that it was used as a farewell to Jean-Paul Belmondo, who died on September 6, 2021 at the age of 88.
Moreover, for the anecdote, it is not the only decision of the actor which will have changed the destiny of the film. It was "Bebel" and director George Lautner who insisted that the film end on a tragic note, the death of the hero, opposing the wishes of the producers who were afraid of public reaction, and losses financial consequences that such a decision could generate. A risk for the time which paid off. We can say it, Belmondo had flair!
“Le Professionnel” is broadcast on France 3 this Monday, September 18, 2023. If you cannot watch it from 9:10 p.m., you can find Belmondo in one of his greatest roles in streaming, on MyCanal or Prime Video with a premium subscription. It is also available for purchase and rental on most VOD platforms.