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The Day of the Jackal

  • Drama
  • 1973
  • Fred Zinnemann
  • 136 mins
  • 15

Summary

Thriller based on Frederick Forsyth's novel, starring Edward Fox and Michel Lonsdale. In 1963, having failed in its attempt to murder General de Gaulle, the hardline French Secret Army Organisation decides to hire a top professional killer to do the job properly. Codenamed the "Jackal", the seemingly unassuming Englishman begins to lay his intricate plans to assassinate one of the world's most powerful men.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

A magnificent script from Kenneth Ross and a masterly central performance from Edward Fox form the backbone of this big-screen version of Frederick Forsyth's bestselling novel. But it's Fred Zinnemann's matchless direction that makes it such compelling viewing and an object lesson in suspense. The pacing of the picture is superb, a methodical accumulation of detail that is as fastidious as Fox's preparation for his mission to assassinate General de Gaulle. Although the action crisscrosses Europe, there's no postcard prettiness, just a sure grasp of the atmosphere of each place before getting down to the business of the scene. The supporting cast is also first rate, with Cyril Cusack, Michel Lonsdale and Tony Britton outstanding.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
The JackalEdward Fox
Claude LebelMichel Lonsdale
MinisterAlan Badel
Inspector ThomasTony Britton
President General Charles de GaulleAdrien Cayla-Legrand
GunsmithCyril Cusack
MallinsonDonald Sinden
CaronDerek Jacobi
Colonel RodinEric Porter
Colette de MontpelierDelphine Seyrig
DeniseOlga Georges-Picot
BerthierTimothy West

Crew

rolename
DirectorFred Zinnemann

Details

Theatrical distributor
Cinema International Corp. UK
Guidance
May be edited for violence, swearing and brief nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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