The underrated, ruthlessly efficient The Day of the Jackal follows a meticulous anonymous mechanic (Edward Fox) on a mission to kill President de Gaulle—hired by militants, pursued by detective Michael Lonsdale, and bedded by upper-crust Delphine Seyrig. For his first film in seven years Zinnemann brought a documentary precision to this paradigmatic thriller, all the way down to the assassin’s custom-made rifle, in a superior adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s best-seller.

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Image courtesy of UNIVERSAL / THE KOBAL COLLECTION.

  • Directed By Fred Zinnemann
  • 1973
  • France
  • 143 minutes