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Compelling, fascinating, beautiful!
Riveting and complex!
Fred Zinnemann's crime thriller The Day of the Jackal (1973) sees the audience following both a contract killer plotting the assassination of the French president as well as the entire law enforcement investigation into catching the hitman. Zinnemann's direction is absolutely fantastic as you are engrossed by an intricate narrative with impressive detail as he forces the viewer to keep guessing. Zinnemann runs you around Europe as you witness all the government and policemen track down an evasive shooter for hire calling himself The Jackal. Stunning cinematography flows effortlessly across France, England, and more European countries with striking wide shots of streets, rooms, and buildings wherein anyone can hide. You are so held in suspense by the fact that anything can happen during The Day of the Jackal that the film's steady pace makes it go by in a moment.
There's hardly any music in the background of The Day of the Jackal, so that you focus in on character interactions and little details immediately. The fast paced editing sends you from one place to another in seconds, but you are always aware of what is happening. It's impressive that The Day of the Jackal was written by one man as the script is so tight, so detailed, and so complex that you can imagine 100 writers could have contributed all the small details of detective work police do to hunt down threats.
Edward Fox is phenomenal as the nuanced killer The Jackal. He is calm, suave, cunning, and quick with an intimidating penchant for the deadly. Fox is fun to watch plan out his mark with professional precision as he trots across Europe heading to his final lethal encounter.
I really enjoyed Derek Jacobi as the young Inspector Caron. Olga Georges-Picot is sympathetic and intriguing as the informant spy Denise. I thought Michael Lonsdale was inspired as the sure fire detective Claude Lebel. He is intelligent, clever, thoughtful, resourceful, and unassuming as the hero of the story. Lastly, I adored the alluring performance from the actress Delphine Seyrig. She is charming and playful with an intriguing sense of self. She's a wonderful momentary foil for Fox's Jackal.
In conclusion, Fred Zinnemann's thriller The Day of the Jackal is a suspenseful masterpiece of renowned precision. It's as cool as thrillers get.
I'm surprised that this classic thriller isn't rated much higher. It keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the very end. Watch this one and skip the American remake starring Bruce Willis.
Very close to the book, and an excellent adaptation.
The Day of the Jackal is a fantastic edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that masterfully sets up each encounter for maximum tension.
My favourite film of all time. No special effects. Very little music. Just an amazing plot and one that stays very close to the book. Fox plays the clinical assassin undone ultimately by greed and ego. Michel Lonsdale plays his chief protagonist, the irrepressible Deputy Commissioner Claude Lebel. Watching the two plots come closer and closer together is wonderful.
An exceptionally involving film. A plot to assassinate DeGaul proceeds with meticulous detail. Fine actors and directing. Incredibly suspenseful and yet subtle and underplayed.
A great thriller - leaves you in suspense until the very end
Best political assassination thriller movie ever made!
A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" is out on a mission to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. The story is two-sided as we follow the Jackal's way towards his target. He travels, he disguices, he hides, he gets friends, he gets enemies. He is a slick fella that never makes mistakes. On the other hand we follow the crew after him. They are professionals and the cat and mouse game is a huge effort.
I dig the development as the assassin get's ready. He is contacting fellas for weapons and fake IDs. He tries out guns and he does some neccessary kills now and then. I kind of like the guy. The good guys is also cool guys. Smoking a lot of cigarettes, staying up making unplesant, but important phonecalls around the globe. I really dig Michael Lonsdale's performance as Lebel - great effort.
A long film, but very rewarding and never boring. I dig the fact that The Liberation Day scenes were filmed at a real parade, with most spectators being unaware of a film being shot. Charles de Gaulle was not around, but it's cool anyhow. I think I might have seen the Bruce Willis version of this many years ago, but I'm not sure. This film is probably way better.
8 out of 10 puzzle guns.