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English --> englishmovies-000 --> eo-mov-004
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 eng-o-mov-004 The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
Above are the political thriller "The day of the Jackal" wrote by the famous writer Frederick Forsyths published by China in the 1980s and early in 21st century. The movie "The day of the Jackal" just is based on the novel
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
The day of the Jackal (1973)
About the movie from IMDB


Director:Fred Zinnemann

Writers:Frederick Forsyth (book)
Kenneth Ross (screenplay)

Release Date:30 July 1973 (USA) more
Genre:Drama / Thriller more
Tagline:Fred Zinnemann's film of... more
Plot Outline:A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. more
Plot Synopsis:View full synopsis. (warning! may contain spoilers)
Plot Keywords:Money Transporter / License Plate Stealing / Blonde Beast / Hiding Place / Hit In The Neck more
Awards:Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 10 nominations more

Additional Details

Also Known As:Chacal (France)
Parents Guide:View content advisory for parents
Runtime:143 min
Country:UK / France
Language:English / Italian / French
Color:Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:1.85 : 1 more
Sound Mix:Mono (Westrex Recording System)


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 {}

A British assassin is employed by disgruntled French generals to kill Charles de Gaulle while a dedicated gendarme follows the assassin's trail in this political thriller. The film uses the perspectives of the ultra-professional assassin as he prepares his work and that of the harried but humble French detective as he undercovers the plot. Written by Keith Loh {}

When President De Gaulle decides to grant independence to French Algeria, several of the soldiers, who fought in that campaign, feel that De Gaulle is belittling the lives of the men who died there. So they form a group and make attempts at De Gaulle and fail. When several of their key members are killed or caught and eventually executed, the three top members decide to hire a professional assassin to take out De Gaulle. The man that they chose agrees to do it on the condition that he be alllowed complete autonomy. He also advises them to go into hiding until the job is done. And they do. When the French Security force learns that they have shut themselves off from the rest of world are curious what they are doing. So they abduct their errand boy, and once interrogated all he says is the assassin's code name, "The Jackal", they hypothesize that they have hired an assassin to go after DE Gaulle. Once De Gaulle is informed he refuses to alter his plans and will not allow extra security added. So his ministry decides that they should find the Jackal before he makes his move. They appoint the best detective in France, Claude Lebel to find him. Lebel plan is to contact every police department in the world and see if the Jackal comes from their country and if so to provide him with a description and/or a photo. Now Scotland Yard has a small lead but unfortunately they miss him but they have his passport so assuming that he is out of the country, they try and find the passport that he is using. Now when they think that they have him, he discards the identity that he is using and assumes another one. Can they find him before he gets De Gaulle? Written by (See here)


Dissatisfied with French President Charles de Gaulle's decision to give independence to Algeria, the OAS, a militant french underground organization, decides to assassinate De Gaulle, believing they can restore the glory of France by killing De Gaulle. The leader of the OAS, Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry botches the attempt, and along with several other members of the plot, end up being caught and executed. The remaining leadership of the OAS, demoralized and having fled the country to escape capture, realize that they cannot finish the job they have started through their organization and have to hire a professional assassin to do the job.

After examining the dossiers of several candidates, they settle on one man, who comes to visit them. He points out that they have no choice about hiring a professional assassin, not only is their organization riddled with police informants, but their bungling has now made the job even more difficult because De Gaulle's security has been dramatically enhanced due to the attempt. He agrees to take the assignment provided they pay half of his very large fee in advance, and comply with several minor conditions. There will be no further contact between the four men, other than they will set up a telephone number in Paris he can call to get information. He will only be known by his code name: The Jackal.

The movie follows the methodical preparations the Jackal makes, including the determination of how, when and where to perform the hit (which is not disclosed to us), creation of a number of fake identities and obtaining the resources to do the job, such as a rifle modified to look like something else, and photographs of himself as an old man. Despite being the title character, in the movie the "Jackal" seems to talk the least of all the characters; we understand his motivations and his cunning brilliance by his actions. The violence also seems very subdued; the additional killings The Jackal performs in the process of covering his actions are brief and almost invisible, or are performed off-screen.

Meanwhile, French security forces, upset because of the sudden rash of bank robberies in France, discover that they are being done by members of the OAS, who do not know why they have been ordered to do them. Realizing that the leadership of the OAS are using the bank robberies to finance something, French Security decides to detain their chief clerk: Adjutant Viktor Wolenski. Rather than request Wolenski's extradition from Austria, French Security decides to invoke self-help: they kidnap him from Italy and smuggle him across the border into France.

Torturing Wolenski to death, French Security extracts enough information to discover that there is quite possibly a plot on the life of President De Gaulle by a foreign assassin whose code name may be Jackal, and if that is the case, it represents a national emergency. The Prime Minister convenes the entire cabinet, and the head of the State Police admits there is no way they can find this Jackal by normal means. They can't detain him at the border; they don't know his name. "Action Service" (the government's professional assassins) can't destroy him if he's in another country: they don't know whom to destroy. They can't arrest him if he's in the country; they don't know who he is. They can't search for him, they don't know what he looks like. Without a name and a face, they can do nothing to stop him. In short, they need the best detective they can find to put out a total effort to discover who The Jackal is - and do it in secrecy - before he succeeds and plunges France into a crisis.

The Police Commissioner admits there is one man - one of his employees - who can do the job: Deputy Commissioner Claude Lebel. Lebel is told to drop everything, focus on finding The Jackal and stopping him. He will have full powers and any resources he needs, subject to just two requirements of the job: no publicity, and do not fail. As in the novel, Deputy Commissioner Lebel is given a seemingly impossible assignment. Lebel's assistant Caron asks, "But no crime has been committed yet, so where are we supposed to start looking for the criminal?", to which Lebel answers, "We start by recognizing that, after De Gaulle, we are the two most powerful people in France."

As the Jackal has set up his methodical preparations to commit the crime, Lebel also methodically prepares every method he can devise to try to determine where The Jackal might be from, how he might perform the act and when and where he will do so. With assistance from the old boy network of police agencies in other countries, they discover a lead by looking for British subjects who have obtained passports as an adult using birth certificates of deceased children, and find a dead child, Paul Oliver Duggan, who applied for a passport decades after he had died. British authorities also discover whom they suspect The Jackal might be, Charles Calthrop, and realize that - while it may be a coincidence - "Cha" in Charles and "Cal" in Calthrop spell the French word for Jackal.

The police search the apartment belonging to Calthrop, and recover his passport. Which brings up the question, if they have his passport, what's he traveling on? French authorities are notified of Calthrop's identity as Duggan, and will look for him. Lebel discovers only a few hours too late that Duggan - The Jackal's false identity - has already entered the country.

The Jackal stops in a hotel, finds an attractive, bored married woman, Madame Montpellier, whose husband is away on holiday, and carries on a fling with her. He goes to her home (after secretly discovering her address from the hotel register) to see her for a few days. She mentions to him that the police were there, asking questions about him, and she knows he stole the car he has because it has local plates, but she's willing to protect him if he'll tell her what he's doing. He kills her and escapes out the window.

In the mean time, Lebel discovers that there is an informant in their midst: a telephone tap exposes that one of the members of the cabinet has a mistress, and has been revealing the top-secret details of their investigation to her in pillow talk. It turns out that she was feeding the information to a contact that The Jackal was calling. One of the members of the cabinet is curious, how did Lebel know who's telephone to tap to find out who the informant was. Lebel admits he didn't know, so he had a tap placed on all of their telephones. Several of the cabinet members are shocked.

The Jackal disposes of Calthrop's identity, and substitutes that of a Danish schoolteacher. He travels on to Paris. Meanwhile, the police discover Madame Montpellier has been murdered, so now Lebel no longer has to look for The Jackal in secrecy, police can simply make a full public search for her murderer. They discover that the Danish Schoolteacher, Per Lunquist, whose passport was stolen, got on the Paris-bound train. They race to the station only arriving a few minutes too late to prevent The Jackal from escaping.

Lebel realizes that they have only a few days to find the Jackal because he realizes he will strike during a medals ceremony at the next public holiday. Apparently dissatisfied at Lebel's presumptiousness in tapping their phones, the cabinet dismisses him with their thanks, saying they no longer need his help.

At a gay bathhouse, The Jackal is approached by another man, who picks him up. They go back to the man's apartment. Later the man sees a TV in a shop without sound, recognizing the Jackal's face but not knowing why. As he mentions this to The Jackal, the TV in the apartment has a newsflash telling that Per Lunquist is wanted for the murder of Madame Montpellier. The Jackal kills the man off-screen in his kitchen, then calmly sits down and watches the TV.

The Prime minister recalls Lebel, realizing that despite having in excess of 100,000 police and gendarmes looking for The Jackal, they can't find him, he's disappeared and they need Lebel after all.

On the day of the celebration, The Jackal passes a gendarme who inspects his papers. The Jackal has become a chameleon: by using certain tricks, he has made himself look like an elderly amputee. The Gendarme, seeing a one-legged old man on a crutch, lets him pass. The Jackal goes into an apartment, kills the landlady, unties his leg from behind his buttocks, goes into a top-floor flat, and reveals to us that his crutch had a more sinister purpose, as he disassembles it to produce the rifle which was disguised as the crutch.

The Jackal sets up his sniper's nest and aims his weapon at the spot where De Gaulle will stand as he gives out medals at the procession. He waits. Meanwhile, Lebel is continuing to circulate, trying to figure from where The Jackal will strike. Lebel runs into the gendarme who had met the disguised Jackal, and the two of them run toward the apartment.

Meanwhile, De Gaulle is presenting medals to war veterans, and The Jackal has him in his sights. De Gaulle has stopped for a moment, and is standing. The Jackal takes the shot.

De Gaulle moves, and The Jackal misses the shot. As he attempts to reload, Lebel and the gendarme bust down the door. The Jackal uses his rifle to kill the gendarme. As he is attempting to again reload, Lebel grabs the gendarme's machine gun, quickly figures out how to use it, and before The Jackal can also kill him, sprays a hail of bullets which tosses the body of The Jackal across the wall of the room, dead. Lebel looks out the window as the oblivious De Gaulle continues with the ceremony, unaware of how close death came to him that day.

As British police are looking over Calthrop's apartment, he walks in, and demands to know who they are and what they are doing there. So now we discover that the Charles Calthrop that they had investigated was not The Jackal.

At the end of the film, as we watch The Jackal's coffin being lowered into the grave, we are left with the question: "Who the hell was he?" (See here)

A brief about the movie

Based on Frederick Forsyths best-selling novel of political intrigue, the day of the Jackal, tell of a cold, suave British assassin hired by the French OAS kill general Charles de gaulle nameless and faceless, the kill, known by the cide name of Jack (EDWARD FOX).Relentlessly moves toward the date with death that would rock the world. the tension mounts an the methodical preparations of the Jackal are paralleled with the efforts of the police to uncover the plot.

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