The Day of the Jackal

The Day of the Jackal

Fred Zinnemann (1973)

15 Certificate


Our Score
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.


A group of conspirators contracts the Jackal, a professional hitman, to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle of France. The killer starts to put his painstaking plans into action, creating a new identity, establishing his alibi and commissioning a custom-made weapon, while out-foxing the French police at every turn. Fred Zinnemann's adaptation of Frederick's Forsyth thriller, with Edward Fox, Michael Lonsdale, Alan Badel, Tony Britton and Cyril Cusack.

Cast & Crew

The Jackal Edward Fox
The Minister Alan Badel
Insp Thomas Tony Britton
The Gunsmith Cyril Cusack
Insp Claude Lebel Michael Lonsdale
President Charles de Gaulle Adrien Cayla-Legrand
Caron Derek Jacobi
Mallinson Donald Sinden
Col Rodin Eric Porter
Lloyd Terence Alexander
Director Fred Zinnemann
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Cinema International Corp. UKGuidance: May be edited for violence, swearing and brief nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray