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)

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunmen was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT
More mistakes in The Day of the Jackal

Minister: There is one thing: how did you know whose telephone to tap?
Lebel: I didn't, so I tapped all of them.

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

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