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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Presumably to avoid confusion with the names of living French people, the fictitious names used by Frederick Forsyth in the novel were replaced by those of famous French historical people: for example, Colbert (Louis XIV's Minister of Marine), Dumont (famous explorer), and Berthier (Napoleon Bonaparte's chief of staff). See more »
Near the beginning, the conspirator on the motor scooter, wearing a full-face helmet that covers his ears, stops at a café and begins making a phone call without removing his helmet. See more »
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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The closing credits roll over a lion statue at the Élysée Palace, the residence of the President of France. See more »
Chilling yet on the ball at all times-type of a detective story and international mystery stirred up into a magnificent and skillful thriller.
The O.A.S., the French version of the I.R.A. are determined more than ever to take out the current president, General Charles De Gaulle, at any cost. And after the last attempt on DeGaulle went undone, an Englishman who is only known as the Jackal (Edward Fox) is hired to finish the job even though he wants to do it his way.
Once the word gets out, a noble Paris detective, Claude Lebel (Michael Lonsdale) is chosen by his superiors to apprehend the Jackal before he can pull off the assassination.
The movie is based on the novel written by Frederick Forsyth ("The Dogs of War", "The Fourth Protocol") and the adaption made by Kenneth Ross is remarkably accurate and retains mostly of the mind-numbing suspense.
Well-known director Fred Zinnenmen (the original "High Noon" and "From Here to Eternity") handles the film like a picture frame, keeping it clean and avoiding any of the typical Hollywood methods, especially the climax. If there another movie that could ever match or get close to the same level of ferocious intensity of this movie has. Wolfgang Peterson's "In The Line of Fire" with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich seems to be the best exception and after that, I don't anyone has matched this movie.
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