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The Day of the Jackal (1973)

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A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.



(book), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Terence Alexander ...
Tony Britton ...
Denis Carey ...
Adrien Cayla-Legrand ...
Maurice Denham ...
Pascal (as Jacques Francois)
Olga Georges-Picot ...
Raymond Gérôme ...
Flavigny (as Raymond Gerome)
St. Clair


It is the early 60s in France. The remaining survivors of the aborted French Foreign Legion have made repeated attempts to kill DeGaulle. The result is that he is the most closely guarded man in the world. As a desperate act, they hire The Jackal, the code name for a hired killer who agrees to kill French President De Gaulle for half a million dollars. We watch his preparations which are so thorough we wonder how he could possibly fail even as we watch the French police attempt to pick up his trail. The situation is historically accurate. There were many such attempts and the film closely follows the plot of the book. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nameless, faceless... relentlessly moving towards the date with death that would rock the world. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

30 July 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chacal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 8 mins) Casson mentions the Jackal having done "that fellow in the Congo". He probably refers to Patrice Lumumba, the first Congolese president, who was rumored to have been assassinated by a European; this also alludes to Frederick Forsyth's third novel, 'The Dogs of War', which focused on European soldiers (mostly mercenaries) getting involved with African affairs (conflicts commonly) back in the 1960s-70s. See more »


(at around 2h 15 mins) In the final scene no one reacts to the sound of the gendarme's submachine gun shooting the lock out, the parade continues uninterrupted. See more »


[first lines]
Commentator: August 1962 was a stormy time for France. Many people felt that President Charles de Gaulle had betrayed the country by giving independence to Algeria. Extremists, mostly from the Army, swore to kill him in revenge. They banded together in an underground movement, and called themselves the OAS.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits roll over a lion statue at the Élysée Palace, the residence of the President of France. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Rebel Set (1992) See more »


Colonel Bogey March
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by Kenneth Alford
Played by an accordionist
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

9 February 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is just a masterpiece. It is probably the prime example of how the film industry did such a better job with movies of this genre 30 and 40 years ago. I was comparing and contrasting this with the original "The Manchurian Candidate," both films dealing with assassination, but taking totally different paths -- one with a brainwashed assassin, the other with a coolly professional one. But in comparing this film with more-modern films -- including the remake of this one -- it's amazing how everyone involved 30 or 40 years ago used dialog, character development, fantastic cinematography and other such tools to craft an incredibly complex and tense work. You might have trouble remembering one actor from this film, but you can't forget their characterizations. Nowadays, it's nothing but special effects. Everyone got a lot more for their money in the era when this film was made.

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