Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Movies You May Have Missed: The Day of the Jackal

Fred Zinneman's film adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's book counts as one of the great suspense thrillers/ procedurals of the 70's. Where some procedurals barely work with following the police investigation, this film juggles both the investigation and follows the Jackal as he uses smart tactics to elude his enemies. And succeeds admirably with both. The Jackal is portrayed by Edward Fox in an icy cool performance. Prone to casual violence and devilishly convincing as the cold blooded assassin hired by the OAS to eliminate Charles De Gaulle. While this narrative plays out, the French Secret Service put together a team led by Lebel (played by Michael Londsale).

The documentary like cinematography employed by Jean Tournier, Georges Delerue's propulsive score, and Zinneman's masterful direction all contribute to creating a constantly on the move style. Guided through the streets of shot on location Europe.

In his Pultizer Prize winning arrangement of words, Ebert said: "The Day of the Jackal is two and a half hours long and seems over in about fifteen minutes." Quite so. There is not a moment I was not invested in Zinneman's thriller. A tight script Seek it out.


  1. LOVE this movie. Might be my favorite Zinnemann, and he directed so many classics. I fully agree with Ebert, this one just flies by. Really glad you liked it.

  2. It's become one of my favorites for sure.