7.8/10
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196 user 59 critic

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 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:

The Jackal spent 71 days, 56 minutes thinking a bullet into the brain of de Gaulle. 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

The Liberation Day scenes were filmed at a real parade, with most spectators being unaware of a film being shot. This caused a bit of confusion: many of the crowd mistook the arrests being filmed for real ones, and attempted to assist. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h) When the Jackal prepares to take his final shot at the melon in the forest, he is clearly shooting with the rifle on his right shoulder, but he views the sight with his left eye. No sniper could see reasonably through the sight with his opposite eye, which turns his head away from the intended line of fire. 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 »


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

Stylish espionage thriller...neat location photography...
10 February 2004 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

From start to finish, this is one stylish espionage thriller that qualifies among the best of its genre. Handsomely photographed in some colorful European locations and impressively acted by the entire cast, it showcases EDWARD FOX as "The Jackal" in a performance of smooth villainy that is convincing all the way.

The film's final thirty minutes are worth waiting for--as is The Jackal's final disguise that convinces the French authorities to let him pass. Fred Zinnemann keeps it all moving at a steady pace and there's never any letdown in suspense since the film has the power to draw you in from the start.

Based on Frederick Forsyth's best-seller about the painful preparations an assassin makes in an attempt to take the life of Charles DeGaulle, it belongs in the same class with a film like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, almost documentary in approach.

The British cast is excellent with Michael Lonsdale doing an outstanding job as the relentless detective. Highly recommended.


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