The Day of the Jackal (1973)
It’s really good even though it drags at points. It’s a pretty classic assassination movie. The interesting bits are watching a professional assassin assemble everything up until the last minute while the intelligence agencies and detectives scramble to catch up. It’s interesting and fairly accurately surprising how quickly governments are able to pick up on bits of information here and there and get very close to their target. In this movie they didn’t actually need any of his personal information, just his aliases and general “foreign-ness” as they tracked him.
At times I really liked Edward Fox, other times not so much. It’s very strange in assassin-perspective movies because you find yourself aligning your loyalties to a killer and find yourself hoping they pull it off. Strange but true. Now when you get the story solely from the heroic detective or agent trying to stop an assassination attempt then obviously you are hoping they prevent it. In this one we get both and it’s hard not to want the Jackal to kill de Gaulle as much as you hope the detective catches him in time. I really liked the Michael Lonsdale’s Lebel but I can’t for the life of me think of the modern actor he resembles in this movie:
It’s a guy who usually plays doofy supporting characters. His hair is longish but usually combed forward and I don’t remember ever seeing him with a mustache…
Oh well, this movie is a pretty good classic. It’s not your typical Cold War spy fare which is kind of nice and yet at the same time brings in a lot of interesting non-US/Russia world context from that era.
Go watch it while I try to figure this guy out.