(Review originally written at 26 February 2006)

No matter how often I watch this movie, I just never grow tired of it. It's a movie that I always enjoy watching and I find it to be a very entertaining one.

The movie has a wonderful story. It's also an unique one, because it for once focuses more on the bad guy than on the good guys. The movie follows the assassin, nicknamed the jackal, on his mission to murder the French president De Gaulle. We see his preparations and how he slowly maneuvers himself into positions, and mingles with people and blend in with the crowd, all to achieve his goal. Of course not everything is going as planned and he has to improvise his way through situations, at times, while the police is getting closer and closer to finding out his true identity- and his track. The entire story is extremely well constructed and build up fantastic. The story takes it time to unfold things and everything eventually leads up to the fantastic end finale, that truly is unforgettable, as is the entire movie as a whole.

The cast is also a reason why this movie works so very well and is an unforgettable one. The cast of the movie is not filled with some 'big' well known names but rather with some excellent, lesser known actors, that were cast because of their abilities to play the character and not because of their well known name. Edward Fox shines as the jackal and he perhaps plays his most memorable part out of his career. Michael Lonsdale, who plays the main 'good guy' of the movie but yet is only introduced half way through the movie, also plays one of his best and most memorable roles.

It certainly is a good and at times tense thriller but it mostly also is a very entertaining one to watch. It's no heavy movie and despite its long running time, the movie never has a slow or lesser moment in it. It's a very consistent movie, due to it's well written script and most excellent directing, from multiple Oscar winning- and nominee, director Fred Zinnemann.

For the people who can appreciate a movie with a well build up thriller-story, this is a most definite must-see! Truly one of the very best thrillers and also certainly one of the most enjoyable ones ever made. It's yet another essential '70's viewing.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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