The Day of the Jackal

Character mistake: Towards the end of the film the Jackal, in disguise as the fictional one-legged, grey haired Frenchman Andre Martin, finishes setting up his sniper's nest and removes his beret, revealing that he has only dyed his hair grey where it protruded. He has a circular mop of his normal chestnut brown hair under his hat! This is an incredibly stupid thing to do - it is a perfectly normal thing for a policeman (or any other security operative) to ask that someone showing identity papers remove his hat if he is wearing one. The Jackal is a professional assassin who meticulously prepares for all contingencies - he isn't going to throw away his whole plan for the sake of a bit of extra hair dye. (02:10:05)

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Suggested correction: This is just plain wrong. From the time the Jackal disguises himself as the one-legged war veteran he has a full head of iron grey hear.

Character mistake: When the false passport application is found, they say that the passport was mailed on Jul 14. When Lebel tell the Minister about the passport, he says that it was issued on Jul 30.

Other mistake: Interior Minister Roger Frey advises Commissioner Lebel that all members of the police, military and other security forces attending the ceremonies on the day the Jackal is expected to strike will be issued with lapel badges at the last moment, in case he is going to try to masquerade as one of them. We see hundreds of such people in the next part of the film, including Lebel himself and the CRS private who allows the heavily disguised Jackal through the barricades around the site of the ceremony DeGaulle is due to attend. Only the CRS private wears a lapel badge. Not one of the other police or military officers in attendance is wearing a lapel badge of any kind. (01:58:15)

More mistakes in The Day of the Jackal

Caron: You know, sir, what they'll do to you if you don't catch this man in time.
Lebel: I've been given a job to do, so we'll just have to do it.
Caron: But no crime has been committed yet, so where are we supposed to start looking for the criminal?
Lebel: We start by recognizing that, after De Gaulle, we are the two most powerful people in France.

More quotes from The Day of the Jackal

Trivia: The Jackal demands $500,000 (US) to assassinate De Gaulle, which seems like a modest amount for such a dangerous job. However, when you take inflation into account that was the equivalent in 2019 money of over $4m. No wonder his putative employers are surprised.

More trivia for The Day of the Jackal

Chosen answer: According to Wikipedia: "Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants made by combining two high explosives: nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin, i.e. it is a double-base propellant. However, Cordite N, a triple-base propellant is also used. Cordite is classified as an explosive, but it is normally used as a propellant for guns and rockets." So yes, it works.

Twotall

Answer: Yes, cordite is classified a an explosive, but it's rarely used as such. It's a common propellant for artillery shells etc. Realistically, the Jackal would have used a plastic explosive such C4 or Semtex for a bomb. And the mercury fulminate tipped rounds are a fantasy, it's so unstable, it would explode before it had left the barrel.

stiiggy

More questions & answers from The Day of the Jackal

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