Tracking the Jackal
wes-connors from Los Angeles
10 October 2010
This documentary was written, produced and directed by Joseph "J.M."
Kenny for inclusion in the "Collector's Edition" DVD release of "The
Jackal" (1997). There are interviews with director Michael Caton-Jones
along with the film's four major stars - Bruce Willis, Richard Gere,
Sidney Poitier, and Diane Venora - who reveal how they accepted and
prepared for the roles. Producers are included, and production designer
Michael White receives a featured segment. Everyone seems to know the
story is quite distanced from the original "The Day of the Jackal" book
and film. Mr. Willis refers to the movie by its original title.
Later, Willis offers some startling comments about a clandestine
preparation, with top secret government officials, stating, "If I told
you about it, I'd have to kill you." The updated version's strength in
characters is noted by the cast. Their work is apparent in the film,
but only Mr. Gere and Ms. Venora's relatively subtle romantic subplot
seems particularly noteworthy. Some "behind-the-scenes" footage is
included; however, a backstage clashing of egos is not commented upon.
"The Making of The Jackal" is followed by deleted scenes, an alternate
ending, a trailer, and photographs.
Removed for pacing, the deleted material is most interesting. Willis'
character in the film has no romantic female interest, and chooses a
man instead of the traditional woman in his plotting; arguably, as part
of his "disguise" but contextually open to speculation. A deleted
subplot has "The Jackal" going "all the way" with a lonely middle-aged
woman (played by Lisa Banes), which is more than the "just kissing"
shown with similar pick-up Stephen Spinella. Other deleted scenes
feature more about the inner workings at the FBI, and how a spy is
connected to the Jackal; included are some good looks at Ms. Venora.
***** The Making of The Jackal (4/28/98) J.M. Kenny ~ Michael
Caton-Jones, Richard Gere, Bruce Willis, Sidney Poitier
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