The Day of the Jackal
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In this involving political thriller, a secret French paramilitary organization plans to assassinate French President Charles De Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand) because of their disagreement with his policies during the Algerian War. They hire a professional killer, known only as "The Jackal" (Edward Fox). The police learn of the plot from an informer, and police investigator Lebel (Michel Lonsdale) cleverly pieces together the clues to the Jackal's identity. The complicated plot uses parallel editing to cross-cut between the details of the Jackal's preparations for the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a polished and exciting thriller, mercifully unburdened with heavy political/philosophical digressions."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"I wasn't prepared for how good it really is: it's not just a suspense classic, but a beautifully executed example of filmmaking."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Like all Zinnemann's work, this meticulously crafted political thriller is involving but not exciting due to his detached perspective and the fact that we know the outcome, that De Gaulle wasn't assassinated, but it's cast with Europe's best actors."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A taut, suspenseful thriller that is as exciting as the first time you saw it. Fox is wonderful as the assassin; a great cat-and-mouse feature."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"A taut, tight assassination classic."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"The major asset of the film is that it succeeds in maintaining interest and suspense despite obvious viewer foreknowledge of the outcome."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The details are minutely observed and, to me, just a bit boring."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Great assassination-based thriller"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"Delightfully intelligent and often irreverant, it's a good yarn and a good thriller to boot."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Zinnemann's tale of an extremist faction's plot to kill the celebrated French leader and the authorities' efforts to capture the mercenary assassin hired for the job achieves a dignified tone and compelling pace seldom seen in latter-day thrillers."
‑ Nick Hilditch,
"Low on documentary conviction and political context, but an intriguing exercise in concealing the obvious."
‑ , Time Out
"A taut, suspenseful, and fascinating political thriller."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"An engrossing film about a terrorist."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[A] taut, slow-burning thriller."
‑ , Film4
"Very exciting and entertaining."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
More reviews for The Day of the Jackal on Rotten Tomatoes