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.

raywest Premium member

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.

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

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

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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