The Day of the Jackal

Factual error: When the Jackal is driving into France in his 1963-correct Alfa Romeo Giulietta, he passes a red Alfa Duetto. Those were not made until 1966. Likewise the Renault 12 or the electric locomotives.

Factual error: Many shots, especially the early ones, include the iconic Renault 16 in the background. This car was first produced in c1965, three years after the events happened. Probably unavoidable, as the car was a huge success.

Jackal2

Factual error: When The Jackal arrives in the Paris train station, a modern luggage cart is seen, similar to those commonly seen in airports today. They were not in use in 1963.

Factual error: Charles de Gaulle's Citroen DS19, a vehicle that appears repeatedly, is an anachronism: it's a 1965 model used in a movie set in 1963. Although the design differences are few, they are noticeable from the outside. It's difficult to imagine why the production team used an incorrect car that got so much screen time (as opposed to the aforementioned 1966 Alfa and several other background vehicles).

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

Lebel: It's obvious that the Jackal has been tipped off all along, and yet he's decided to go ahead, regardless. He's simply challenged the whole lot of us.
Minister: Are you really suggesting that there's a leak from inside this room?
Lebel: I can't say. But we think that the Jackal is now in Paris with a new name and a new face, probably masquerading as a Danish schoolteacher.

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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