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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 <email@example.com>
The film features no soundtrack music after the first five minutes other than diegetic background music from marching bands, street musicians and radios. See more »
As the Jackal is presenting his identification to the policeman near end of the movie, we see numerous people walking to what is supposed to be a controlled area. When the Jackal is allowed to pass, the camera angle changes shows the area where the people were walking devoid of people other than soldiers. See more »
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.
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The closing credits roll over a lion statue at the Élysée Palace, the residence of the President of France. See more »
From start to finish, this is one stylish espionage thriller that qualifies among the best of its genre. Handsomely photographed in some colorful European locations and impressively acted by the entire cast, it showcases EDWARD FOX as "The Jackal" in a performance of smooth villainy that is convincing all the way.
The film's final thirty minutes are worth waiting for--as is The Jackal's final disguise that convinces the French authorities to let him pass. Fred Zinnemann keeps it all moving at a steady pace and there's never any letdown in suspense since the film has the power to draw you in from the start.
Based on Frederick Forsyth's best-seller about the painful preparations an assassin makes in an attempt to take the life of Charles DeGaulle, it belongs in the same class with a film like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, almost documentary in approach.
The British cast is excellent with Michael Lonsdale doing an outstanding job as the relentless detective. Highly recommended.
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