71 user 28 critic

The Assignment (1997)

1:18 | Trailer
An American naval officer is recruited for an operation to eliminate his lookalike, the infamous terrorist Carlos The Jackal.


Christian Duguay





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aidan Quinn ... Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez / Carlos
Donald Sutherland ... Jack Shaw / Henry Fields
Ben Kingsley ... Amos
Claudia Ferri ... Maura Ramirez
Céline Bonnier ... Carla
Vlasta Vrana ... KGB Head Officer
Liliana Komorowska ... Agnieska
Von Flores ... Koj
Al Waxman ... Carl Mickens - CIA
Mitchell David Rothpan Mitchell David Rothpan ... Joey Ramirez
Gregory Hlady ... KGB Aide
Gabriel Marian Oseciuc Gabriel Marian Oseciuc ... KGB Agent
Frédéric Desager ... KGB Agent
Kliment Denchev Kliment Denchev ... KGB Technician
Yonathan Gordon Yonathan Gordon ... Yoni


1986. In his civilian clothes while on shore leave in Jerusalem, Lieutenant Commander Annibal Ramirez of the US Navy is captured and interrogated by who he eventually learns is Mossad in a case of mistaken identity. Because of the resemblance, they believed him to be Carlos the Jackal, one of if not the most wanted and dangerous terrorist in the world. Shortly following, Henry Fields, using the alias Jack Shaw, he the Paris deputy chief of CIA counter-terrorism whose primary mission for at least the past ten years has been to get rid of Carlos in any way possible, tries to recruit Ramirez to work on a covert CIA-Mossad operation to stop Carlos' terrorist activities with the ultimate goal of Carlos' capture or death. The plan is for Ramirez to impersonate Carlos, in the process discrediting Carlos in the eyes of his current KGB backers, and thus effectively ending his career as a terrorist, with nowhere he can longer hide. After an initial reluctance on Ramirez's part, Shaw is able to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Based upon a true story. See more »


When Annibal Ramirez is going around in the Jerusalem market (about 15 minutes into the movie) we see him reach into his bag for film (to supposedly reload his camera), but the subsequent shot clearly shows there is no film in the open camera that he closes before he takes the picture of the two guards. See more »


Jack Shaw: The song says, There must be 50 ways to leave your lover? Make it 51.
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »


Swing Dixie
Song provided by
Chris Stone Audio Productions Toronto
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User Reviews

Pretty good thriller dealing with a case of deadly impersonation , known terrorist Carlos the Jackal.
24 June 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Intriguing and tense movie full of suspense from the beginning to the end , being based upon a true story , about an ordinary man recruited to impersonate an ominous murderer . Good and attractive film plenty of tension , action and entertainment . This well-paced picture is packed with historic events , tension , hectic intrigue and the suspense is maintained throughout . The deeds of this exciting movie start in Vienna , there takes a place a notorious kidnap executed by a nasty terrorist . This is a historical event of attacking the OPEC meeting by the Jackal and his fellows in 1975 . Later on , in Jerusalem , Lieutenant Commander Annibal Ramírez (Aidan Quinn) of the US Navy is detained and interrogated by who he eventually learns is Mossad in a case of mistaken identity. As the Mossad agent Amos (Ben Kingsley) captures the man whom he thinks is Carlos , only he's a double , US officer Annibal . Then , he is recruited for an operation to eliminate his lookalike , infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal who is largely shown plying his trade . So a CIA counterterrorism expert named Shaw (Donald Sutherland) and Amos decide to turn the officer into the terrorist in order to catch him . As they scheme an elaborate plot to have Carlos' Russian handlers (KGB) , as they think the terrorist has betrayed them .

Decent and workmanlike film based on a thrilling script written by Dan Gordon and Sabi Shabtai . This stirring picture is full of suspense , tension , thrills and is very entertaining , though overlong . There are some perfectly mounted set-ups for a somewhat efficient payoff . The film's intrigue snowballs toward a surprising final . We see this sensational film not only by its action and intrigue but also by the historical deeds that are well depicted and related to criminal terrorist Carlos the Jackal . Extraordinary casting , all of whom give admirable acting , such as starring Aidan Quinn who plays perfectly a double role ; both , a dynamic seaman and the most cold-blooded and vicious killer ; brilliant Ben Kingsley as the intelligent Mossad agent , and , of course , Donald Sutherland's interpretation who steals the show as the haughty counterterrorism expert Jack Show . Support cast is frankly good , such as : Claudia Ferri , Celine Bonner , Liliana Komorwska , Von Flores , Al Waxman , Daniel Pilon and Vlasta Vrana.

It contains a moving and adequate musical score by Normand Corbeil . As well as an evocative and appropriate cinematography by David Franco and Christian Duguay himself . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Christian Duguay . Chistian's smoothly persuasive direction attracted reception by the public and was a success at the box office . Christian Duguay was born in 1957 in Outremont, Québec, Canada . Frequently casts Donald Sutherland and he is former husband of Liliana Komorowska . He is a director and assistant director, known for Scanners II and III , Human trafficking (2005), Art of war (2000) , Extreme Ops , Boot Camp , Rouge Brésil (2012) . Furthermore , he has directed various historical TV series , such as : The Medici , Joan of Arc , Pío XII , San Agustín , Anna Karenina , Coco Chanel , Guillermo Tell and Hitler: The Rise of Evil , among others . Rating : 7/10 . Better than average . Well worth seeing .

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English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

26 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jackal See more »

Filming Locations:

Acre, Israel See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$117,608, 28 September 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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