The Day of the Jackal

User Score

The Day of the Jackal Overview

An international assassin known as ‘The Jackal’ is employed by disgruntled French generals to kill President Charles de Gaulle, with a dedicated gendarme on the assassin's trail.

Who Stars in The Day of the Jackal

Edward Fox
the Jackal

Edward Fox

Michael Lonsdale

Michael Lonsdale

Olga Georges-Picot

Olga Georges-Picot

Delphine Seyrig

Delphine Seyrig

Eric Porter
Colonel Rodin

Eric Porter

Michel Auclair
Colonel Rolland

Michel Auclair


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Review for The Day of the Jackal

Author: John Chard

Chacal. The Day of the Jackal is directed by Fred Zinnerman and adapted to screenplay by Kenneth Ross from the novel of the same name written by Frederick Forsyth. It stars Edward Fox, Michael Lonsdale, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel, Tony Britton and Denis Carey. Music is by Georges Delerue and cinematography by Jean Tournier. As the French political climate reaches boiling point over the Algeria situation, underground organisation the OAS plot to have President Charles de Gaulle assassinated. When an attempt fails the OAS members not caught are exiled in Vienna and decide that bringing in an outsider to kill the President is the best way forward now. That outsider is an Englishman, code name The Jackal, a methodically cunning and deadly assassin… Wonderful, the kind of character driven thriller that has become in short supply over the decades. It’s all so simple, even sedate, yet this calm approach serves the plotting perfectly. After the initial set ups we follow The Jackal (a super icy turn by Fox) on his mission to kill General de Gaul. His planning, the people he meets, the people he has to kill to stay one step ahead of the authorities. From cons to weapon smuggling, to disguises and sexual encounters, it’s thoroughly compelling from Jackal’s story arc alone, but the frequent shifts to the hunt for him by a whole ream of suits and detectives is also fascinating viewing. Backing Fox up is a raft quality performers, a cast very much in tune with the material to hand. Delure’s musical composition is purposely of the minimalist breed, Tournier’s photography is period compliant and smooth, while Ralph Kemplen’s excellent editing was rightly nominated for an Academy Award. Zinnerman does sterling work from the director’s chair, amazingly keeping a two and half hour movie free of extraneous scenes or pointless exposition. Everything is relative, it really is a film to stay focussed with, to give it respect by giving it your undivided attention. So go the bathroom before sitting down to view this truly great and smart thriller. 9/10

Images related to The Day of the Jackal


Universal Productions France S.A.

Warwick Productions

Warwick Film Productions



Release Date

Original Language

2 hr 23 mins

Action Thriller

paris france assassination assassin based on novel or book traitor hitman castle false identity police charles de gaulle suspense disguise denunciation

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