7.8/10
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194 user 52 critic

The Day of the Jackal (1973)

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ON DISC
A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Frederick Forsyth (book), Kenneth Ross (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Fox ... The Jackal
Terence Alexander ... Lloyd
Michel Auclair ... Colonel Rolland
Alan Badel ... The Minister
Tony Britton Tony Britton ... Inspector Thomas
Denis Carey Denis Carey ... Casson
Adrien Cayla-Legrand Adrien Cayla-Legrand ... The President
Cyril Cusack ... The Gunsmith
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ... General Colbert
Vernon Dobtcheff ... The Interrogator
Jacques François ... Pascal (as Jacques Francois)
Olga Georges-Picot ... Denise
Raymond Gérôme Raymond Gérôme ... Flavigny (as Raymond Gerome)
Barrie Ingham ... St. Clair
Derek Jacobi ... Caron
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Fred Zinnemann's film of... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

30 July 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chacal See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$16,056,255
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the man on the motor scooter stops at the cafe in the first few minutes of the movie, we see an August 1964 calendar on the wall, but the movie is set in August 1963. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Remade as The Jackal (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
One of the finest thrillers ever made
15 May 2001 | by dgriffithsSee all my reviews

The opening five minutes of the film are a marvel. Almost completely devoid of dialogue the scenes portray visually more story than most modern thrillers can fit into two hours. This is about the best book-to-film conversion I've ever seen. The cuts, where they are made, are logical and some locations are combined. From Forsyth's first, and probably best book (written in less than 5 weeks) this film contains nothing that does not drive the story forward. The character of the Jackal is brilliantly finely drawn. He doesn't contain any of the cliches that you would expect to see in a film written in the last twenty years (he doesn't display mental instability, or have flashbacks to some event in his past). He never tries to justify his pernicious occupation to anyone yet, strangely, doesn't come across as an evil man. Simply as a professional doing his job. The French police inspector is wonderfully underplayed and is as far away from the he-breaks-the-rules-but-he-gets-the-job-done cliche as you can possibly imagine. He is first seen attending to his pigeons and upon being told he is being put on the case simply says "Oh God..."....

Zimmemann's direction is great and the scenes are beautifully photographed - particularly in Paris.

This is an all-time great film. Definitely in my top ten. I suppose I must put something in negative so it makes for a balanced review so errr.... I think the French minister is wearing a very bad wig. Beyond that -marvelous.


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