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The Day of the Jackal (Widescreen)

4.8 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel, Tony Britton
  • Directors: Fred Zinnemann
  • Writers: Frederick Forsyth, Kenneth Ross
  • Producers: David Deutsch, John Woolf, Julien Derode
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0783226853
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,190 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Based on Frederick Forsyth's best-selling novel of political intrigue, The Day of the Jackal, tells of a cold, suave British assassin hired by the French OAS to kill General Charles de Gaulle. Nameless and faceless, the killer, known by the code name of Jackal (Edward Fox), relentlessly moves toward the date with death that would rock the world. The tension mounts as the methodical preparations of the Jackal are paralleled with the efforts of the police to uncover the plot, which gives the story non-stop, edge-of-your-seat suspense.


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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The plot dialogue and cast were great!!
The on location shooting of many of the
scenes were excellent.
There is not much action and a LOT of dialogue
but the excellent cast carried it off
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this movie many years ago. Based on a novel by the same name by Frederick Forsyth, and while it was not a huge box office success by today's standards it was well received. I was pleased to discover it was available on DVD. It has some great actors, some of whom were well known but early in their careers such as Michel Lonsdale and Derek Jacobi and and Edward Fox, who plays the Jackal, a well known actor.

The story in today's setting is a bit dated, revolving around political intrigues and an assassination attempt on Charles de Gaulle (former president of France from the end of World War II to the 70's for those too young to remmeber him. Nevertheless it is a well done drama, if at times slow moving by current standards.

Younger movie goes will see the resemblence to the 1997 movie The Jackal starring Bruce Willis and Richard Gere et al. The 1997 is a modernized and updated remake of the original.

Overall an excellent movie, if not quite up to the explosive action "standards" of modern films, and well worth watching especially for those who like the modern remake for some perspective on how things were shuffled in the remake.
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