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>
(at around 21 mins) When Wolenski gets the mail from the post office, the narrator says the mail is addressed to General Delivery. But Wolenski is shown opening a P.O. Box; General Delivery mail is held at the counter and called for by name. 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 »
Exciting thriller with top-notch actors and excellent direction
This is a good rendition of Frederick Forsyth's best seller based on real events, it deals about an intelligent English assassin (Edward Fox) who is assigned by OAS to assassinate General De Gaulle. OAS was a terrorist group formed by French vets of the War of Argelia and committing terrorist acts preferentially after its independence (Evian,1962). The Minister (Alan Badel) assigns the mission to locate Jackal , being appointed his best investigator named Lebel( Michael Lonsdale) and assisted by his helper (Derek Jacobi). The film develops the preparation of the assassination including identity forge, weapons purchase, among others.
This is an interesting thriller lavishly produced by John Woolf who after that he made ¨Odessa file¨ also by Frederick Forsyth. It's full of action, tense, high intrigue and is very entertaining. From the beginning to the end the tension and suspense is continued . In spite of the fact that the runtime is overlong, is neither tiring , nor dull , but thrilling . Cool performance by Edward Fox as elegant and cunning murderer. All star cast formed by prestigious secondary actors as French : Michael Lonsdale, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel, and British : Cryil Cusack, Maurice Denham, Eric Porter, Timothy West,Ronald Pickup, Donald Sinden and others uncredited, almost extras: Edward Hardwicke , Andrea Ferreol, Feodor Atkine and Howard Vernon. And marvelous secondary actresses as Olga Georges-Picot and Delphyne Seyrig and including some of nudism. Beautifully photographed by expert cameraman Jean Tourneir. Suspenseful and atmospheric musical score by George Delerue.
The motion picture is stunningly directed by Fred Zinnemann who had a lot of experience from his formers classic films as ¨High Noon, From here to eternity, Man for all seasons ¨, among them. Rating : Very Good , better than average. It was such fine movie that had a great success at the box office. It's remade in 1997 by Michael Caton-Jones with Richard Gere and Bruce Willis as Jackal but is inferior version and bears only slight resemblance to the original movie.
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