I’d be curious to watch a modern adaptation or version of Fred Zinneman’s The Day of the Jackal, which depicts the cat-and-mouse chase between The Jackal (Edward Fox), an English assassin hired to kill French President Charles de Gaulle, and police detective Claude Lebel (Michel Lonsdale).

There were a couple of decisions that stood out to me in The Day of the Jackal. For one thing, there was no French speaking in a film that largely takes place with characters who should be French. This was a confusing decision for me that I’m guessing may have been made based on the sensibilities of audiences in 1973.

A second decision that stood out was the decision not to give the Jackal any backstory or motivation; he is simply a force of pure professionalism, working towards a goal using whatever means necessary. There was a somewhat comedic moment early on in the film when the men hiring the Jackal for the job are startled by his extreme fee ($500,000 – about $4,000,000 in 2016 after inflation). Of course, this is unintentional.

The main difference between Zinneman’s Jackal and what a modern Jackal might look like is that Zinneman’s Jackal is decidedly not an action movie, where we might expect a modern movie to have an action skew to it.

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