The Day of the Jackal

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)

8

Other mistake: The Jackal goes out into a field to test his gun and adjust the sights. But the gun is then dismantled again, so the adjustments are irrelevant.

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: Fred Zinnemann wanted the Jackal to be played by an anonymous actor, so he passed over established stars such as Michael Caine, Roger Moore, and Jack Nicholson in favor of Edward Fox. He later admitted that his decision might have been what contributed to the film's sub-par performance at the box office.

Cubs Fan
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Question: What is cordite? And does it really work?

Jason Riley

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

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
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