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The Day of the Jackal (Widescreen)

Edward Fox , Terence Alexander , Fred Zinnemann    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Day of the Jackal (Widescreen) + The Night of the Generals + The Odessa File [Import]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.25

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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. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Jackal was not a lone Fox Nov. 15 2013
By David M. Goldberg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There have already been so many favourable reviews of this masterpiece, that one more seems like an exercise in superfluiity, but there is one point I want to emphasize that has not been stressed sufficiently: the outstanding all-round acting by this stellar cast. Fred Zinneman deserves full credit for his magnificent direction: taut and economical; beautifully paced and edited. Conversation is kept to the minimum needed to justify the action, and we have to thank Kenneth Ross for converting Frederick Forsyth's novel into such a compelling screen play. It is in the nature of the "thriller" medium that suspension of disbelief is necessary for full enjoyment of the product. As this plot is apparently based on a real incident , it is less essential here than in most of the genre, And the seamless flow of the sequences together with their rapid changes in location do the rest, until the very last moment when I felt, for the first time, an edge of incredulity. Edward Fox justifies the praise that has been heaped upon his performance, but the support he received from actors who were household names at the time has not been adequately acknowledged: Alan Badel, Eric Porter, Cyril Cusack, Michel Lonsdale and Delphine Seyrig in particular. Although priced at under $CN10, the visual quality of this DVD and its transfer from the original leaves nothing to be desired, although their is neither a brochure or any extras.I noticed in the Amazon.ca site that there is an even cheaper version available, but I have not seen it. This I have seen several times since purchase and I can thoroughly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Why not the jackal?
This is the answer given by the hard and cold assasin who signs the agreement to kill De Gaulle.
The story runs through a set of historical issues who are part of the story. A group of officers decides by themselves to revenge the lost honor of France due the fact about the independence of Algiers.
Edward Fox - one of the best actors of his generation - played with sublime perfection the demanding role of the Jackal.
So from the first images of the film you'll be engaged with this chess film. All the movements of this exceptional mind are guided by an amazing sense of hunter behavior. He acts like a western samurai , without blinking , he kills when the circunstances don't let him other choice. The feelings don't exist in this professional.
You are invited to presence an authentical tour de force. And since the moment an important link is arrested , your histamina and cold sweat will invade you.
The efforts of Le Surete for following any possible clue leads to an unforgettable mind game to spark the human chase since the moment the Jackal decides to go ahead with the plan and drive to France from Niza.
The rest of the story runs for you when you acquire this legendary and hair raising punch thriller. And once more you'll admire how the famous film maker Fred Zinemann could win with this story.
The locations and the sense of the drama are extraordinary made. And the words are not enough to describe the countless sequences of hard beating you'll experience.
A perfect film and believe me ; you won't feel the 140 min of the picture.
This is the first and best version!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite Buy Jan. 13 2014
By DDolsen
Excellent movie, especially for anyone who lived through that era. Particularly interesting to reflect on how much the story relies on the lack of rapid communication between agencies that we now take for granted. Missing also are the border controls between EU partners and other tracking checks since "replaced" by cams etc. All the techniques and technologies of cold war skills show up, special gunsmiths, secret messages, covering tracks and the piecing together of the ways and means. The suspense at points is incredible, especially the fluke of failure that saved the day. An economical and beautifully presented story. I have seen the hyped remake and it lacks authenticity, serving only to verify the value of the original.

One of the things I loved most was seeing that Alfa Romeo being driven around Europe. Favourite car. Not the point of the movie, but for a car buff it's worth the price of the flick!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A First Rate Spy Thriller May 15 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Not so much "spy" as "assassin," though, for Edward Fox is cast as an assassin, doing a job that will earn him his retirement. He is to kill President Charles de Gaulle, "le Grand Charles" himself, in Liberation Day, as we eventually find out--but not until much later in the film.

The killer goes through many personalities, disguises, and changes, and manages to kill a few innocents on the way to his final conquest. He is unknown to the gendarme, who are on his trail early, with the help of an informer on the inside, but eventually his appearance becomes known to them--and even then, in spite of an alert commissioner of police in Paris who is every bit his match, Inspector Lebel (Michel Lonsdale)--he almost makes his kill. Had he done so, of course history would have had to be re-written because of a movie, an unlikely event--so we knew that he would fail, but still the plot was so well played that the suspense was never lost.

Written by Frederick Forsyth and directed by Fred Zinneman, perhaps this film was predestined for greatness, but in any case it is one of the great ones.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
Loved this movie. Great story with great actors and acting. Just because a 'big' name star is in a film does not always mean great acting.
Published 18 hours ago by M. Harding
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always a good watch.
Published 28 days ago by mater
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Have always liked this movie.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Wiseman
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Historical Thriller
This Historical Thriller is set in 1960s France. It involves a Fictional plan to Assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Gripping story
Thrilling..excellent acting and adherance to the Forsythe story gave us a most enjoyable evening. This is a classic!
Published 3 months ago by Maggie Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and still THE BEST!
The original and by far - the best! Great acting all around, intense plot and great locals! This is a true classic in every sense of the word and a definate MUST SEE! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Greg B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Fox in one of his best roles
A very meticulous plan to assassinate Charles Degaulle.
A plan by the French military after Algeria was given up by the French. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Larry Sales
5.0 out of 5 stars Day of the Jackal
The plot dialogue and cast were great!!
The on location shooting of many of the
scenes were excellent. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Theresa Gonsalves
5.0 out of 5 stars The original
There is this movie (5 stars) and "The Jackal" (negative 5 stars). Buy, watch & love this one. Hit anybody who wants to see the other ... ideally with a Bruce Willis DVD.
Published 13 months ago by Geordie A.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well-made film
Made in 1973 but set in 1963, this film was like a cross between "Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy" and Clooney's "The American". Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
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