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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.

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 ... 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:

Nameless, faceless... relentlessly moving towards the date with death that would rock the world. 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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jean Martin plays Wolenski, one of the group of French military veterans (at least some of whom served in Algeria), who felt betrayed by Charles de Gaulle's perceived capitulation to the violent tactics of the F.L.N., in support of the rebellion toward independence in Algeria. In The Battle of Algiers (1966), Jean Martin played Colonel Mathieu, a French Colonel of Paratroopers who arrives in Algiers to take control of the French military operation there, in an effort to take control of the city and of the violent rebellion toward independence. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h) When the Jackal is testing his rifle in the woods, he sights the weapon using first the right, then the left eye. Changing eyes will change the sighting of the scope. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits roll over a lion statue at the Élysée Palace, the residence of the President of France. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Have I Got a Steele for You (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Marche Lorraine
(1892)
Composed by Louis Ganne
[Heard during the Liberation Day parade in Paris]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A magnificent and skillful thriller.
6 November 2002 | by mhasheiderSee all my reviews

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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