Staff rating

The Day of the Jackal Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 3.5 4.0 from 2 reviews
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Frederick Forsyth's best-selling novel of political intrigue is splendidly brought to the screen by Zinnemann. A brilliant and ruthless assassin hired to kill Charles de Gaulle skirts the international intelligence pool, while intuitive police work try to stop him. Tense, suspenseful, beautiful location photography. Excellent acting by Fox, Cusack and Britton.

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Available on Running time 142 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Mystery & Suspense, Spies & Espionage, Assassination, Foreign Intrigue, Books to Film: Frederick Forsyth
Kenneth Ross
Edward Fox, Alan Badel, Tony Britton, Derek Jacobi, Cyril Cusack, Olga Georges-Picot
Jean Tournier
Fred Zinnemann
Georges Delerue
Mark Huffam

Visitor Reviews

The Day of the Jackal
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Dick Glick

As part of the movie, the OAS group is seen reviewing the files of 4 perspective assassins. They use the contained information to choose the ‘Jackal’. The files being examined must have contained sufficient information such that the leader of the OAS group knows who to and how to contact the person who then is the ‘Jackal’. And yet the movie ends with ‘who was the Jackal?’ Isn’t that inconsistent with the information used by the original OAS group in their selection process? Help?

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Paul Srienz

In the first chapter, "Anatomy of a Plot", the reasons and motive for the assassination are described. The Jackal has his first and only meeting with three OAS leaders in Vienna. They tell him who should be killed and they discuss the price for the assassination. In the rest of the chapter it is described how the Jackal searches for information about Charles de Gaulle. He goes to a weapons shop where he asks the owner to make a weapon with his plans. He also sets up a few fake identities like passports and driving licenses. In the second part, "Anatomy of a Manhunt", a French detective, Inspector Claude Lebel finds out about the OAS plan of the assassination. He has to stop the Jackal from killing the president. In the meantime the French ministers debate whether or not to inform de Gaulle about the plan. De Gaulle is sure that he is save. Lebel does everything he can to discover the Jackal's identity. He is finally given the name of a suspect, Charles Harold Calthrop, from British Intelligence, who they have on their list of possible assassins-for-hire and find a match living in London. As they arrive to his home he is gone and they know he has used one of the wrong passports because they didn´t find his name in the list of people that left the country earlier. The French police gets close to the Jackal a few times, but he always manages to escape. The Jackal's OAS informant gets information from the French government and tells it to the Jackal, so he is always one step ahead of the police. In the last part, "Anatomy of a Kill", Lebel realises that there is one day the Jackal will try to kill de Gaulle: Liberation day. As the Liberation Day celebrations begin, the French police are more alert than ever. The Jackal, dressed up as a one-legged war veteran with his gun hidden in a crutch, passes the police checkpoint and makes his way to a building that faces the place the president will stand. He makes his riffle ready and aims at de Gaulle. However the Jackal fails to hit the president because he kisses an important woman on both cheeks. Meanwhile Lebel found out that the Jackal made his way through the lines of policemen. He and an officer rush up to the apartment the Jackal must hide. When they rush in the Jakal turns around and kills the young policeman with the second bullet intendet for the president. At last coming face to face, the killer and the detective are looking into each others eyes. The Jackal has to put a new bullet into his riffle. Lebel has to pick up the submachine-gun. The detective is a split second earlier and half a magazine out of Lebels gun kills the Jackal. After Charles Calthrop appeared no one really knows who the Jackal was. At the funeral they say an unknown foreign tourist was killed in a car accident. “The day of the Jackal was over”