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.

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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 gunman 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

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

Question: I have seen this movie many times, but one question continues to bother me: How did the Jackal plan to escape if he was successful in shooting the president? (He had already removed his disguise).

Answer: He would have just slipped away into the crowd, probably with some minor alteration to his appearance. He was a master of disguise and no one knew his real identity or what he looked like.

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Answer: When the Jackal entered the parade area, he was disguised as an old army veteran, with one leg and false I.D. When the job was done he would walk out as a younger man with two legs and another set of of false I.D.

More questions & answers from The Day of the Jackal

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