The Day of the Jackal (1973) Movie Review


ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Z (Director Fred Zinnermann) – The Day of the Jackal – Movie Review

Director: Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity, A Man for All Season, High Noon)

Writer: Kenneth Ross (Screenplay)

Writer: Frederick Forsyth (Book)


Plot: In the aftermath of France allowing Algeria’s independence, a group of resentful military veterans hire a professional assassin codename “Jackal” to kill President.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Day of the Jackal starts in the aftermath of France allowing Algeria’s independence. A group of military veterans have been trying to kill President Charles de Gaulle. Therefore, hiring a contract killer from overseas code-named The Jackal (Fox) to do the job.

As Jackal starts preparing for his job, the authorities learn about the planned assassination attempt. Rushing to discover who is behind it, in a race against time to discover the truth and prevent the assassination.

Verdict on The Day of the Jackal

The Day of the Jackal is an action thriller, that shows careful planning from the assassin’s point of view. Additionally, we get to see how the government are tracking the mysterious assassin although they have little to go on.

Having only seen the remake of ‘The Jackal’ with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere. I was left to understand the basic story from the outside with bigger action. In this original version, there is a lot slower build to the incidents. Where the pacing in the movie will keep everything grounded. With idea of the slowly built-up tension behind everything that is unfolding keeps us on edge.

Edward Fox is great in the leading role, bringing the confident and careful assassin to life. Always showing how prepared his character is for anything that goes wrong. In the supporting cast, we see the actors keeping everything tight-lipped about the truth.

Where to Watch: The Day of the Jackal is available to rent or buy on nearly every available online service. Amazon, Google Play, Chili, Microsoft, YouTube, Apple TV, Sky Store.

Final ThoughtsThe Day of the Jackal is a great thriller, filled with intensity.

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