Jon B. (starlostchild) from RALEIGH, NC Reviewed on 8/16/2009...
This movie closely follows the book, which has become required reading for the CIA and FBI. While not all the details are in the movie, it is understandable, because the movie has to be of a certain length. However, this is as true to the book as I have seen and the book is amazing. This movie is amazing.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Why can't they make movies like this any more?
David J. Chmiel | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rarely does a movie do justice to a book, but Fred Zinneman's production of "The Day of the Jackal" is wonderful adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's novel which, I continue to believe, is one of the greatest thrillers ever written.It's hard to put a finger on what exactly makes this film great: excellent performances by relatively unknown actors, a wonderful plot, fantastic location shooting or a complete desire to avoid the bells and whistles, special effects laden movies that are all that makes up the "suspense" genre of films these days. Like other reviewers have said, be this the first or the fiftieth time that you watch this film, you will be left on the edge of your seat with its "cat and mouse" plot of the search for a lone assassin hired to murder President De Gaulle. The young Edward Fox is brilliant in the title role and the supporting cast excellent.If anything, this film proves that you do not need big named stars, explosions around every corner or computer generated effects to make a fantastic film. The only downside to watching this film is that you realise that the movie industry just does not make films like this any more.Highly, highly recommended."
Edward Fox is bloody brilliant!!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 11/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, up front...I am an Edward Fox fan. Have been since he lumbered around in the 1966 FROZEN DEAD as Nazi Popcicle #3. Hey, he was one super fozen dead!! He had several good roles in next few years, but really stood out as Ian McShane's fellow flyer in THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN. They stole the show in a cast of super Brits - Lord Larry, Michael Caine, Ralph Richardson and Robert Shaw, just to name a few - firmly setting their star potential. But Edward really carved his chunk of attention for the role as the Jackal in the 1973 DAY OF THE JACKAL.The film is a tight production, nearly boarding on documentary. Edward portrays the meticulous hitman of many disguises who has been hired to assassinate Charles de Gaulle. Based on the spy novel from Frederick Forsyth, director Fred Zinnermann focuses on the French detectives racing to track down the elusive Jackal before it's too late, and well as the dispassionate, professional preparations by Fox. But you are in two minds, actually. Fox is so winning in the performance, fleshing out the Jackal just not as a coldblooded killer, but as a man, so you oddly almost root for him to succeed, at the same time cheering for him to fail. With the marvellous supporting cast of Derek Jacobi, Alan Badel, Maurice Denham, Cyril Cusack, the faced paced script by Kenneth Ross (Breaker Morant) keeps you absorbed from beginning to end.Thanks awfully, Edward!!"
Robert Morris | Dallas, Texas | 12/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years before the U.S.'s controversial involvement in South Viet Nam, France struggled and eventually failed to sustain its own involvement in Algeria. Many of its senior officers felt betrayed by their government. Efforts to assassinate President De Gaulle failed. Frederick Forsyth had this in mind when writing the novel on which this film is based. At substantial cost, an assassin known only as "The Jackal" is retained by dissidents to succeed where others had failed. There are two separate but related plots: one focuses on the assassin's meticulous preparations; the other on Inspector Lebel's equally thorough efforts to identify, locate, and capture him. Of special interest to me is director Fred Zinnemann's decision to tell the story (as does Forsyth) in a straightforward manner, without any special effects or gratuitous violence. He presents Lebel (Michel Lonsdale) and The Jackal (Edward Fox) as highly skilled professionals. Each fully understands what he must do and how to do it. True, both receive assistance from others along the way but they nonetheless remain in complete control until their ultimate confrontation. Although some have referred to this film as a "political thriller," there is an almost total absence of politics within its narrative. Although his client has specified Charles DeGaulle, The Jackal would kill anyone for the right price. Moreover, there is absolutely no indication of Lebel having any political loyalties or even personal opinions. He is a public official doing his job, no matter who is in danger. For some, I guess, this film is a thriller. It certainly has a number of exciting moments but I, for one, never had any doubt that Lebel would eventually prevail. My interest is explained almost entirely by the seamless development of the two plots, each of which includes several especially well-portrayed incidents. For example, when Lebel confronts a high-level minister who has unknowingly provided The Jackal with privileged information and then later, when The Jackal penetrates security defenses to position himself so that he has a clear shot at his target. "Riveting" rather than "thrilling" summarizes my response to events throughout this crisp and cohesive film."
dsrussell | Corona, CA. United States | 06/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Day of the Jackel" not to be confused with the inferior remake "The Jackel", is a marvelous character study of the coldest, coolest, most illusive and highly skilled assassin ever brought to the silver screen. With a superior cast headed by Edward Fox, and an outstanding script, this movie plunges the viewer in a riveting cat-and-mouse manhunt.No, this movie doesn't have explosions and car chases, but what it does have is intelligence and suspense. The tension builds wonderfully as the Jackel, a man of brilliant disguises, nears his prey (Charles de Gaulle) with the intrepid constable a step behind.Rent it or buy it, but for heaven sakes, see it! Between 1 and 10, "The Day of the Jackel" gets a 10.As far as the remake, "The Jackel", in and of itself, it isn't really a bad film, it has just been modernized and adulterated with gadgets in lieu of a believable script."
Superb suspense movie from start to finish!
Daniel C. Markel | Rosharon, TX USA | 06/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review is for the 1998 widescreen DVD release by Universal.
This is a truly great movie. The plot is riveting and screen writing is flawless. The villain is Edward Fox who plays the "The Jackal", a hitman who is hired to kill French leader General Charles de Gaulle. The movie shows how the Jackal goes to great lengths and uses ingenious methods in attempting to assassinate de Gaulle. Likewise, the police authorities use intelligence and tireless detective work to track him down which builds up to a great ending. There are so many things to like about this movie, but what also stands out for me is that all of the actors are virtually unknown to American cinema. The widescreen color DVD transfer is sharp and pristine. A must-have DVD for any person who loves intrigue and suspense!