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Non-Review Review: The Day of the Jackal

The Day of the Jackal is a fascinating entry in the assassination subgenre, most impressive for the careful and meticulous way that it examines the unfolding events – it’s more of a procedural than a cat-and-mouse thriller. Indeed, it’s almost an hour into the film before the two detectives chasing the eponymous hit man appear on screen. Fred Zinnemann’s movie has a two-and-a-half hour runtime, but doesn’t rely on a shifting or twisting narrative to fill it. Instead, it simply allots the characters and the world that they inhabit a bit more room to breathe, to the point where The Day of the Jackal seems a great deal more human and personal than most assassination thrillers, as we get a sense of the people tied up in a plot to assassinate Charles de Gaulle.

Tie a grey rope ’round the old… I’m not sure what type of tree that is…

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