6.4/10
105,131
249 user 79 critic

The Jackal (1997)

Trailer
1:18 | Trailer
An imprisoned I.R.A. fighter is freed to help stop a brutal, seemingly "faceless" assassin from completing his next job.

Writers:

Kenneth Ross (earlier screenplay Day of the Jackal), Chuck Pfarrer (screen story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,433 ( 1,910)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... The Jackal
Richard Gere ... Declan Mulqueen
Sidney Poitier ... Preston
Diane Venora ... Valentina Koslova
Mathilda May ... Isabella
J.K. Simmons ... Witherspoon
Richard Lineback ... McMurphy
John Cunningham ... Donald Brown
Jack Black ... Lamont
Tess Harper ... The First Lady
Leslie Phillips ... Woolburton
Stephen Spinella ... Douglas
Sophie Okonedo ... Jamaican Girl
David Hayman ... Terek Murad
Steve Bassett Steve Bassett ... George Decker
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Storyline

In Moscow, the FBI and their Russian counterpart, the MVD, are working on a joint mission to apprehend Russian mobster Ghazzi Murad specifically for the murder of Mayor Nikolai Semankho. During the arrest, they are forced to kill Ghazzi. Ghazzi's brother, Terek Murad, also a mobster, begins his own form of deadly retribution against the MVD for Ghazzi's death. But the FBI and MVD also get wind that Terek has hired an assassin by the code name Jackal to carry out a hit on a high profile but unknown American target for the Americans sticking their nose in Russian affairs. Intelligence points to that target being Donald Brown, the Director of the FBI. The Jackal is known only by name and reputation but no one in authority knows who he is, what he looks like or if he even really exists. They learn of only one person alive who they know has had ties to the Jackal: former Basque separatist Isabella Zanconia, whose whereabouts are unknown. As such, the FBI and MVD decide to turn to the one ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How do you stop an assassin who has no identity?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because Richard Gere and Bruce Willis filmed many of their scenes separately, they would often ask each other "How's your movie going?" when they'd meet. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 24 mins) When Witherspoon is shot by the Jackal at Isabella's house his blood stains disappear when you see the Jackal leaving. See more »

Quotes

Carter Preston: I wonder if we'll ever know who the hell he was.
Declan Mulqueen: We know all we need to. He was evil, he is dead. And he's gone. Nothing more matters.
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Alternate Versions

DVD special edition features additional scenes deleted from the theatrical release and an alternative ending, where the Jackal is killed by Isabella. See more »

Connections

References Shoot to Kill (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Shineaway
Written by Richard Butler, BT (as Brian Transeau)
Performed by BT featuring Richard Butler
Courtesy of Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Stop comparing the two "Jackals"... it's useless
23 March 2011 | by CherryBlossomBoySee all my reviews

I had a bit of fun reading through user comments on Jackal, and there are two perpetuating issues in about 90 percent of them: 1) this "version" of "Jackal" has nothing on the original (because the original was "oh so great") 2) only idiots enjoyed this version (because its plot is silly).

My response would be: 1) the original wasn't so great either (go ahead and jump at me) 2) anybody who thinks only an idiot would enjoy silly movies is an idiot himself.

On the first point - why is even so necessary to compare remakes to originals if they can stand perfectly on their own? This one can. In fact it even has advantages over its classic predecessor, such as better editing, better cinematography and even better acting. You may think I'm holding onto a straw here by nitpicking but I'm an odd person that values the benefits of modern productions.

On the second point - if silliness (better yet stupidity) of the plot was the criteria by which to avoid the movie, I would probably have seen only about a dozen movies in my lifetime. I would have avoided Bond movies, period movies, parodies and what not. And I'd be poorer for that. So, forget silliness, it's no big deal.

Now a little on the movie itself. The plot is indeed stupid (for an in-depth analysis I recommend reading hilarious Roger Ebert's review). The cast reversal is also a bit of misfortune as Gere was initially supposed to be the Jackal. The fact that the role eventually went to Bruce Willis, together with adventuristic nature of Jackal's business, made me root for the bad guy as I never did before. He is conceived as sort of an upgraded James Bond here, being more ruthless, with drier sense of humor and taking advantage of both sexes (not only females) to his cause.

I don't know if making bad guy look good was the intention on part of the film crew, but it turned out a very subversive move for a typical Hollywood venture (making an IRA terrorist that pursues Jackal a likable guy as well is probably another one, but I wont go into that). All in all, it was a suspenseful voyage with such a good pace that you don't care about the shortcomings at the first viewing, so I say it's recommendable. There are certainly far worse ways you could waste two hours.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK | France | Germany | Japan

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Jackal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,164,595, 16 November 1997

Gross USA:

$54,930,280

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$159,330,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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