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The Day of the Jackal Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

With its high-intensity plot about an attempt to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle, the bestselling novel by Frederick Forsyth was a prime candidate for screen adaptation. Director Fred Zinnemann brought his veteran skills to bear on what has become a timeless classic of screen suspense. Not to be confused with the later remake The Jackal starring Bruce Willis (which shamelessly embraced all the bombast that Zinnemann so wisely avoided), this 1973 thriller opts for lethal elegance and low-key tenacity in the form of the Jackal, the suave assassin played with consummate British coolness by Edward Fox. He's a killer of the highest order, a master of disguise and international elusiveness, and this riveting film follows his path to de Gaulle with an intense, straightforward documentary style. Perhaps one of the last great films from a bygone age of pure, down-to-basics suspense (and a kind of debonair European alternative to the American grittiness of The French Connection), The Day of the Jackal is a cat-and-mouse thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until its brilliantly executed final scene (pardon the pun), by which time Fox has achieved cinematic immortality as one of the screen's most memorable killers.

Academy Awards

The Day of the Jackal received an Academy Awards nomination for Film Editing (Ralph Kemplen).

Share Your Memories!

Is The Day of the Jackal one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I saw "Jackal" while attending flight training in Florida. I was only 13, and no doubt my parents would have objected to my seeing the film because of the violent premise, but to this day I remember "Jackal" as one of the most riveting films I've ever seen.

I remember with special clarity the scene where the assassin is testing his new rifle on a melon suspended from a tree branch. Seeing the melon explode made me automatically visualize the effect such a shot would have on a human head; the thought chilled me quite thoroughly.

The denoument of the film had my heart racing, trying to keep up with the police racing to stop "Jackal" from striking; even now I find myself flushed with adrenaline from the memory. A great film; I never bothered with the remake - it could never hold a candle to the original!"

--Sgt. Bob

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Fred Zinnemann

Stars: Edward Fox, Alan Badel, Tony Britton, Cyril Cusack, Delphine Seyrig, Michel Lonsdale, Eric Porter, Derek Jacobi, Ronald Pickup

Released: July 30, 1973

Availability: DVD VHS


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