The Day of the Jackal

Revealing mistake: When the Jackal is shot at the end of the film, he's thrown back against the wall of the room which moves, revealing it to be a wooden set. Additionally, the hole in the wall with the stunt cable can be seen in slow motion.

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

The Interrogator: You're being very foolish, Victor. You know yourself, they always talk in the end. You've seen it with your own two eyes in... where was it, Indochina? And Algeria, of course. Why don't you tell us what they're waiting for in that hotel, eh? Rodin, Montclair, Casson: what are they planning, who have they been meeting? Nobody? Not a soul, hmm? Then where were they before they went to Rome, eh? Tell us, Victor.

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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

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

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

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