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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)
3,798 ( 1,318)
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 ...
The President
Maurice Denham ...
Pascal (as Jacques Francois)
Olga Georges-Picot ...
Raymond Gérôme ...
Flavigny (as Raymond Gerome)


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  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


During his scenes with the Jackal, the arms supplier Gozzi (Cyril Cusack) is wearing a black armband. Too early for JFK, but possibly to honor Pope John XXIII, who passed away on 3rd June 1963. See more »


(at around 2h 10 mins) 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 »


[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.
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Crazy Credits

The Cross of Lorraine, a symbol General Charles de Gaulle used during his lifetime, appears at the beginning of the film. See more »


Edited into The Clock (2010) 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

Now this is what a thriller should be like
3 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

The Jackal (Edward Fox) is a professional hit-man who has been hired by a French terrorists/resistance (depending on your point of view) group to kill Charles De Gaulle. For a tidy sum of money The Jackal accepts the job.

This film has all the elements of what a good thriller should be like. The film is tense and the tension never goes away but that doesn't mean that things are rushed. I wouldn't call the film heart pounding but it certainly does hold your attention. The characters don't make any stupid or illogical decisions but everybody (both the Jackal and the police who are trying to get him) act professionally with every move having been calculated beforehand. We see how the killer prepares for his job, the intricate technical details of what go into such a thing. A very interesting thing to see instead of simply rushing past those things to focus mainly on action scenes.

Edward Fox makes for a great Jackal. He is a focused professional who always knows what he is doing. The French police somehow find out that an attempt will be made on De Gaulle's life so they begin a desperate search for the culprit.

Director Fred Zimmerman is the man who brings all these elements together and weaves them into a solid film that holds up to this day. This film is far superior to the 1997 remake with Bruce Willis.

Recommended if you want a good escapist thriller with which to escape from the world for a few hours.

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