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The jackal is a fictional character the villain of the novel the day of the jackal by frederick forsythhe is an assassin who is contracted by the oas french terrorist group of the early 1960s to kill charles de gaulle the president of francethe book was published on 7 june 1971 in the year following de gaulles death and became an instant bestseller. The day of the jackal is a 1973 british french political thriller film directed by fred zinnemann and starring edward fox and michael lonsdalebased on the 1971 novel the day of the jackal by frederick forsyth the film is about a professional assassin known only as the jackal who is hired to assassinate french president charles de gaulle in the summer of 1963. The classic thriller from 1 new york times bestselling author frederick forsyth the day of the jackal makes such comparable books such as the manchurian candidate and the spy who came in from the cold seem like hardy boy mysteries the new york times the jackal a tall blond englishman with opaque gray eyes a killer at the top of his profession. Product description based on frederick forsyths best selling novel of political intrigue the day of the jackal tells of a cold suave british assassin hired by the french oas to kill general charles de gaulle. It is the early 60s in france the remaining survivors of the aborted french foreign legion have made repeated attempts to kill degaulle the result is that he is the most closely guarded man in the world