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The Day of the Jackal (1973)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  30 July 1973 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 26,944 users  
Reviews: 181 user | 40 critic

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

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Terence Alexander ...
Lloyd
Michel Auclair ...
Alan Badel ...
Tony Britton ...
Denis Carey ...
Adrien Cayla-Legrand ...
...
Maurice Denham ...
...
Jacques François ...
Pascal (as Jacques Francois)
Olga Georges-Picot ...
Raymond Gérôme ...
Flavigny (as Raymond Gerome)
Barrie Ingham ...
St. Clair
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Jackal spent 71 days, 56 minutes thinking a bullet into the brain of de Gaulle. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

30 July 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chacal  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,959,165 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Casson mentions the Jackal having done "that fellow in the Congo". He probably refers to Patrick 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 »

Goofs

When the Jackal is testing his rifle in the woods, he sights the weapon using first the right, then the left eye. Changing eyes will change the sighting of the scope. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Wire: Middle Ground (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Colonel Bogey March
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by Kenneth Alford
Played by an accordionist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A magnificent and skillful thriller.
6 November 2002 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Chilling yet on the ball at all times-type of a detective story and international mystery stirred up into a magnificent and skillful thriller.

The O.A.S., the French version of the I.R.A. are determined more than ever to take out the current president, General Charles De Gaulle, at any cost. And after the last attempt on DeGaulle went undone, an Englishman who is only known as the Jackal (Edward Fox) is hired to finish the job even though he wants to do it his way.

Once the word gets out, a noble Paris detective, Claude Lebel (Michael Lonsdale) is chosen by his superiors to apprehend the Jackal before he can pull off the assassination.

The movie is based on the novel written by Frederick Forsyth ("The Dogs of War", "The Fourth Protocol") and the adaption made by Kenneth Ross is remarkably accurate and retains mostly of the mind-numbing suspense.

Well-known director Fred Zinnenmen (the original "High Noon" and "From Here to Eternity") handles the film like a picture frame, keeping it clean and avoiding any of the typical Hollywood methods, especially the climax. If there another movie that could ever match or get close to the same level of ferocious intensity of this movie has. Wolfgang Peterson's "In The Line of Fire" with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich seems to be the best exception and after that, I don't anyone has matched this movie.


31 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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