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YMMV / The Day of the Jackal

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  • Magnificent Bastard: The Jackal, Villain Protagonist of the novel is hired to assassinate Charles De Gaulle some way down before an OAS member in the wrong place at the wrong time blurts out his codename under Electric Torture. The Jackal infiltrates Paris and manages to stay a step ahead of the authorities the entire novel. In one instance, when seemingly cornered, the Jackal asks a series of seeming innocuous questions of the police officer, gleaning all he can from the man before realizing it is safe to eliminate him. The Jackal constantly misdirects the authorities, placing himself in the perfect position to assassinate de Gaulle and when he is finally tracked down, it is only seconds before he pulls the trigger on his target.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Forsyth has said: "I thought Lebel was the hero. Jackal was the villain. I was very surprised when readers said that they loved him. He was the ruddy killer .... I had expected women to hate him. He used, then executed his mistress. But no, he had a lot of female admirers."
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    • Conversely, Fred Zinnemann, director of the film version, claimed that French officials he met while preparing the movie considered Jackal a flattering portrayal of their security forces. Considering their use of torture, kidnapping and other unsavory methods in the book and film, Unfortunate Implications abound.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Yes, that is a young Derek Jacobi playing Lebel's assistant Caron.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel for the Countess that the Jackal seduces as it's shown she was genuinely glad to see he'd followed her to her home and was delighted in being found attractive by someone again.

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