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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 »





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


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


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?


Derek Jacobi (Inspector Caron) went on to star as Klaus Winzer in The Odessa File (1974), another adaptation of a Frederick Forsyth novel. See more »


When the Jackal drives into France in his period-correct Alfa Romeo Giulietta, he passes a red Alfa Duetto. The story is set in 1963, but those were not made until 1966. 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 closing credits roll over a lion statue at the Élysée Palace, the residence of the President of France. See more »


Remade as The Jackal (1997) 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

Proof that creativity and 'Hollywood formulas' are at cross purposes.
19 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Many films of recent years have had the potential to live on and become "classics," but all too often the 'Hollywood formula' for success makes them obsolete in a few short years. Having seen the 1997 remake, I was reluctant to watch the original, released in 1973. But I am certainly glad that I did. I would probably rate the original version a 9 had I not seen the newer one but I couldn't resist comparing the 2 and ultimately giving it a 10. It's historical accuracy might leave you wondering whether it is a true story or not because all of the characters are genuine and believable. It is intriguing, clever and offers a bit of suspense, all in the absence of romantic departures, gratuitous sex and unexplained violence. It's a well-researched, well-written story that was expertly adapted to film.

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