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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


The number one book of the year. Now the number one suspense film of the year. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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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?


The novel and film adaptations of "The Day of the Jackal" caused the London Public Records and Passport offices to tighten their regulations to avoid/reduce the chance of anybody stealing and using a deceased person's identity, as the Jackal carried out. See more »


(at around 1h 4 mins) Rafael Leonidas Trujillo is identified as dictator of Dominica. Not only is that a confusion with the Dominican Republic, but Dominica was not even independent in 1963; its independence would come on 3 November 1978. 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 »


Referenced in QI: Cheating (2005) 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

Stylish espionage thriller...neat location photography...
10 February 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

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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Madame De Montpellier stonedprune1975
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