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 »


Ben Kingsley's "Amos" is supposed to be a Mossad agent, whose team captures "Ramirez" in the Jerusalem marketplace. The Mossad does not operate within Israel, strictly outside, much like our CIA. The Shin Bet, Israel's equivalent of the FBI, would be the agency operating within Israel. See more »


Annibal Ramirez: I nearly killed some little kid's father today. I don't know about anything anymore.
Jack Shaw: He was a baseball dad! He deserved it!
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Swing Dixie
Song provided by
Chris Stone Audio Productions Toronto
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User Reviews

Good movie - better than The Jackal!
25 September 2001 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Assignment is a solid thriller which is comparable with The Jackal in terms of story. However it is a much better film than it's big budget brother with better story and a more compelling sense of tension (and you don't have to put up with Richard Gere's wandering Irish accent).

Aidan Quinn is good in twin roles of Carlos and Ramirez, in particular portraying the way Ramirez changes during his training. Sutherland is as good as always - but in some scenes still has an element of hamminess about him, Kingsley is good but underused.

The story is more believable than The Jackal (if you can get past the fact that Carlos has an exact double!) with plot to get Carlos being more intelligence and espionage based than the gunplay solution of The Jackal. Indeed the story is what makes this film so interesting. There are only a few action scenes in the film but again are all tense, the scenes of terrorist attack are frightening but tend to linger of shots of extras with bad blood makeup (some horrors are more terrible if left to the viewers' imagination).

Overall, a tight little thriller that makes up in plot and acting what it lacks in star-power and budget.

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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:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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