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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fred Zinnemann got his hands on the project when he was visiting his producer friend, John Woolf, who had a copy of Frederick Forsyth's then-unpublished manuscript sitting on his desk. Zinnemann enquired about it and Woolf told him that he should read it and that he wouldn't be able to put it down. Zinnemann took it home and read it in one night, calling Woolf up the next day to tell him he wanted to make it. See more »
(at around 1h 4 mins) While discussing Charles Calthrop's possible involvement in the 1961 assassination of General Trujillo, the British detectives refer to the latter as dictator of Dominica. Rafael Trujillo was in fact dictator of the Dominican Republic, a different nation in the Carribean. (In a later scene where Calthrop's passport is shown, we see the visa stamp for "Republica Dominicana", Spanish for Dominican Republic.) See more »
August 1962 was a stormy time for France. Many people felt that President Charles de Gaulle had betrayed the country by giving independence to Algeria. Extremists, mostly from the Army, swore to kill him in revenge. They banded together in an underground movement, and called themselves the OAS.
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The Cross of Lorraine, a symbol General Charles de Gaulle used during his lifetime, appears at the beginning of the film. See more »
This is just a masterpiece. It is probably the prime example of how the film industry did such a better job with movies of this genre 30 and 40 years ago. I was comparing and contrasting this with the original "The Manchurian Candidate," both films dealing with assassination, but taking totally different paths -- one with a brainwashed assassin, the other with a coolly professional one. But in comparing this film with more-modern films -- including the remake of this one -- it's amazing how everyone involved 30 or 40 years ago used dialog, character development, fantastic cinematography and other such tools to craft an incredibly complex and tense work. You might have trouble remembering one actor from this film, but you can't forget their characterizations. Nowadays, it's nothing but special effects. Everyone got a lot more for their money in the era when this film was made.
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