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).

Chosen 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

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 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

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

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