Meanwhile, Lebel determines that British suspect Charles Calthrop may be travelling under the name Paul Oliver Duggan, who died as a child, and has entered France. He did not and it became independent in '62. As de Gaulle presents the first medal, the Jackal shoots, but misses when the tall president suddenly leans down to kiss the recipient on the cheek. Zinnemann wrote that Adrien Cayla-Legrand, the actor who played de Gaulle, was mistaken by several Parisians for the real de Gaulle during filming—though de Gaulle had been dead for two years prior to the film's release. In its own special way, that is a sign of progress.
Why did he do this? In The Day of the Jackal, it is not the Jackal who suffers a conscience crisis, but Lebel; he is not at all pleased with being assigned this demanding job of tracking down a dangerous killer. Also, one really can't say De Gaulle got France into the Algerian War, as he wasn't president when it started and certainly not when France first colonized the region. There were many such attempts and the film closely follows the plot of the book. I read the book several months ago, so my memory is a little hazy, but I recall the Jackal walking into a beauty shop in one scene, and then, in the next scene, emerging into a gay bar and hooking up with the Anton Rodgers character -- while dressed in drag, I recall, although I don't remember specifically how Forsyth worded it. Saw the movie for the first time this weekend. He would be sitting in France and spending his money but waiting for an out.
But not every sinner in the world finds themself in the unusual position of somehow committing treason in the wake of adultery, making his suicide of a drug overdose at the end of the film all the more tragic. They'd probably still be searching for Paul Duggan. Ross, for some unexplained reason, would go on to write only three more screenplays after this film, two of them for John Frankenheimer. As a desperate act, they hire The Jackal, the code name for a hired killer who agrees to kill French President De Gaulle for half a million dollars. The Jackal has got to be one of the most interesting antiheroes ever to lead a Hollywood film. For everybody else in the movie, it doesn't matter, and life goes on. He assembles his rifle, hidden disassembled in one of his crutches, and waits at a window in an upper apartment.
Edward Fox is absolutely right for the Jackal, bringing to the role a sense of mystery and anonymity that a more famous actor would have been incapable of supplying. In his 1992 autobiography, A Life in Pictures, he provides some hints as to why. And I'll probably edit the review so that it says the left was mad at De Gaulle for continuing the war, rather than starting it. The Jackal's inexorable progress is so well done, and so well played by Fox. That's interesting that Godard might have wanted De Gaulle assassinated just because he was an anti-Communist. And yet Zinnemann would forever insist that the movie was little more than a simple crowd-pleaser; one look at the finished film and it is clear he was underrating his own masterpiece. Anonymous, thanks for the helpful comments.
We are promised a final showdown between Fox and Lonsdale, and, fortunately, we get one. You do it great justice here. Then, in one of the saddest moments in the film, St. All in all, I think that was the Jackal's one mistake. Lebel and the policeman burst in. The second man, the detective, is Claude Lebel Michael Lonsdale , the French spy who is appointed by a committee at Élysée Palace to help hunt down the Jackal before time runs out. The Jackal allows himself to be picked up at a gay bathhouse and taken to the man's flat.
The Minister Alan Badel demands an explanation. What would have happened if he didn't steal the lady's car? This is just the best thriller ever made. He seduces the aristocratic Colette de Montpellier. It truly is amazing how much suspense is built over an ending that we can already predict. Claude Lebel is the only character left standing at the end of the movie who still truly, honestly wants to know who the Jackal was. While searching Charles Calthrop's flat, the police are confronted by its occupier who insists on accompanying them to. When asked to provide his best detective, Police Commissioner Berthier recommends his deputy, Claude Lebel.
Later in the film, however, she makes a stunning transformation into a sexy, irresistible femme fatale, and we realize that she is actually very good at her job. I know I did say Lebel is the most complex and tortured character in the film - which he is - but if I said the same thing about the Jackal, let me know where and I'll correct it. The Day of the Jackal 1973 It is the early 60s in France. Few things are uglier than killing a man with no identity and no recorded background, doomed to be buried in a forgotten and unmarked grave. Clair apologizes for his indiscretion and leaves the meeting. By the end of the film, the Jackal remains a mystery, his anonymity left unsolved.
Zinnemann leaves us with some troubling questions, among them the question of whether or not the heroes have actually succeeded in, well, learning anything at all about their enemy. Thanks for the comments, guys! He drives to the railway station and catches a train for Paris. Also, the torture scenes depicted are fairly accurate - the French secret police did some bad things to De Gaulle's opponents, although Zinneman may be trying to visually reference torture of Algerians by the French a la Battle of Algiers. We watch his preparations which are so thorough we wonder how he could possibly fail even as we watch the French police attempt to pick up his trail. If there was a way to send them on a wild goose chase like sending them in the opposite direction, that would have been more helpful to him. In scenes like these, Zinnemann is dangerously skirting the borderlines of a pro-torture argument, but I don't think he's going so far as to make an outright case for torture. The situation is historically accurate.