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The Jackal (1997)

An imprisoned IRA fighter is freed to help stop a brutal, seemingly "faceless" assassin from completing his next job.


(earlier screenplay Day of the Jackal), (screen story) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabella Zanconia
FBI Director Donald Brown
The First Lady
Jamaican Girl
Steve Bassett ...
George Decker


In Moscow, the FBI and their Russian counterpart, the MVD, are working on a joint mission to apprehend Russian mobster Ghazzi Murad specifically for the murder of Mayor Nikolai Semankho. During the arrest, they are forced to kill Ghazzi. Ghazzi's brother, Terek Murad, also a mobster, begins his own form of deadly retribution against the MVD for Ghazzi's death. But the FBI and MVD also get wind that Terek has hired an assassin by the code name Jackal to carry out a hit on a high profile but unknown American target for the Americans sticking their nose in Russian affairs. Intelligence points to that target being Donald Brown, the Director of the FBI. The Jackal is known only by name and reputation but no one in authority knows who he is, what he looks like or if he even really exists. They learn of only one person alive who they know has had ties to the Jackal: former Basque separatist Isabella Zanconia, whose whereabouts are unknown. As such, the FBI and MVD decide to turn to the one ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How do you stop an assassin who has no identity?

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Jackal  »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,164,595, 16 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In an early scene involving Richard Gere, an episode of Kojak: Birthday Party (1976), is showing in the background. Gere was in this episode. See more »


(at around 1h 35 mins) When on the helicopter Declan and Preston are talking about the Jackal but when Declan says, "He will shoot off into the crowd" his lip movements are a bit behind the voice. See more »


Douglas: [Douglas is skeptical about giving his business card out] You're not gonna call.
The Jackal: [flirtatiously] Douglas. You just have to have a little faith in people, that's all. Like I do.
[kisses him passionately]
See more »


Referenced in American Dad!: Tears of a Clooney (2006) See more »


It's Over, It's Under
Written by Graham Edwards, Charlie Midnight, Nick Trevisick and Sierra Swan
Performed by Dollshead
Courtesy of Refuge Records, J.V.
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Best political action thriller ever made!
25 November 2015 | by See all my reviews

Disclaimer: If you are a viewer that mainly prefers art-house-type movies, then you might as well ignore this review. In addition, if you're not able to take a an action political thriller movies, ignore this review, as well. We'll both be better off.

The Jackal (1997) is one of the best political action thriller movies I have ever seen. It is entertaining enough and worth seeing on it's own. It is million times way better than the movies that are made today. The gory violence of "The Jackal" is a big "screw you" to PG-13 thriller movies. The movie is very enjoyable it has everything in it. The acting in this movie is very realistic and superb. The action is non stop and intense and delivers on a good way. Bruce Willis did outstanding acting performance of the character Jackal. He acted the role perfectly and very believable realistic. He was cold ruthless man with thousand names and thousand faces and mystery disguise. He killed anyone who figure it out his true identity or was suspecting him. He used a lot of guns and weapons. This movie made from the book was brilliant and intense packed so that the viewer is hooked up on the edge of a seat and keeps guessing what will happened next. This is the first time I saw Bruce Willis playing a villain in the movie and did gave us superb acting performance. He did in this film a masterful performance ever.

The acting in this movie is very realistic and phenomenal and I mean from everyone who played in here. This movie delivers a surprising top notch entertaining with a potent story and some good twists that help to live up expectations. This is Michael Caton-Jones's best movie to date and that he ever made. The director did an outstanding direction debut and knew what he was doing. Richard Gere as Declan Mulqueen an Irish Republican Army sniper who was locked and imprisoned in maximum security did and outstanding job helping the FBI and Russian Police tracking down an intelligent and genius assassin down. Richard Gere was very convincing in his role as an Irish, his ascent was more British than American. Even for American his ascent was convincing. I thought that Richard Gere could have been the next James Bond 007 not that we have Daniel Craig in it.

This is Sidney Poitier's final film appearance to date. I think he acted convincing and it was his best performance I have ever seen! Sidney Poiter played three times an FBI agent that I counted. Twice in a year 1988 Shoot To Kill and Little Nikita and the third time in this movie in the year 1997. I don't count other movies he played in the 70's. I am glad that he is still alive. The last actress I wanna say that I love in here is Diane Venora as Major Valentina Koslova, MVD. This was her last and I mean last acting debut of her role of a tough woman. I never saw her in any other roles like are that now, she even wear a scars on her face, It was outstanding. I only wish that Diane Venora would get more roles like is this one. She was awesome and I loved her, the death scene was really amazing no one could acted better.

With these players set in motion, it's up to the script to deliver the real substance of the movie. (One often sees great performances in mediocre films... here the story transcends the performances -- an impressive feat.) The script delivers. The action scenes were incredible and very fantastic. The shout out scenes are incredible and outstanding executed. Even Jack Black has a small role in it. The most awesome scene that I have in mind is the helicopter when US Marine sniper Akashi (Daniel Dae Kim) gives the rifle Heckler & Koch SR(TC) to Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere), who uses the rifle to shoot the scope off of The Jackal's (Bruce Willis) automated machine gun. Akashi then uses the rifle to shoot the gas tank and ignite the fuel, blowing up the SUV housing the gun. That scene was realistic I am pretty sure that Richard Gere had a lot of practice with the riffle, before he was in front the camera shooting with the riffle in the film.

The face off between The Jackal (Bruce Willis) and Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere) was phenomenal! It was so realistic acting performance that I seriously believe it and I was convinced that the acting is and the story evolves in realistic world. I'm not sure what else would you want in a movie like this? Probably moral content, the movie portrayed and executed perfectly the book. I have very enjoyed this movie from beginning till the end it is my favorite best action thriller ever. I am giving it 10/10.

The Jackal is the 1997 action thriller starring Richard Gere as a former IRA sniper who is recruited by the FBI to track down a professional assassin known as "The Jackal" (Bruce Willis), who has been hired by a Russian mobster to eliminate a major American political figure. The film is a loose remake of the 1973 thriller The Day of the Jackal./: That is the basic plot and I think this movie deserved to bashed or hated for. It is much better than the new movies are today!!!

10/10 Score: A+ Studio: Mutual Film Company Alphaville Films, Universal Pictures Starring: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora, Mathilda May, Jack Black Director: Michael Caton-Jones Screenplay: Chuck Pfarrer Story by Chuck Pfarrer Based on The Day of the Jackal by Kenneth Ross Producers: James Jacks, Sean Daniel, Michael Caton-Jones, Kevin Jarre Rated: R Running Time: 2 Hrs. 04 Mins. Budget: $60.000.000 Box Office: $159,330,280

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