Based on Frederick Forsyth's best-selling novel of political intrigue, The Day of the Jackal, tells of a cold, suave British assassin hired by the French OAS to kill General Charles de Gaulle. Nameless and faceless, the killer, known by the code name of Jackal (Edward Fox), relentlessly moves toward the date with death that would rock the world. The tension mounts as the methodical preparations of the Jackal are paralleled with the efforts of the police to uncover the plot, which gives the story non-stop, edge-of-your-seat suspense.
This 1973 classic has some of the failings of its time (telescopic / music hall acting from some of the supporting actors) but Edward Fox's acting is sublime. Tony Britton's Brummie accent is so bad that it is either pathetic or a poor attempt at humour. He really should not have tried. The Jackal is able to kill people with a single blow or 3 second pressure to the neck (only convincing to those who have never played a contact sport). The Frederick Forsyth plot is closely followed and is extremely gripping. The drama intense. Its failings are soon forgotten. Highly recommended.
Long, meticulous, superb
- The Day of the Jackal review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
Superb political "action thriller" from 1973 about events way back in 1962. I've used quotation marks because by today's tastes it's long and slow moving – there's no crash bang wallop here – and for a thriller there's not many thrills. But I can highly recommend it – the tension build slowly as a hired assassin (codename Jackal) carefully plans the assassination of General de Gaulle. The film is based on true events as the OAS, a far right French nationalist group, attempted to prevent independence of the French colony of Algeria. Edward Fox is perfect in the role of the ruthless assassin who meticulously plans every detail and even carries his anonymity to the grave. 4/5 stars – highly recommended.