The Jackal (1997)

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German title The jackal
Original title The Jackal
Country of production USA , UK , Germany , France , Japan
original language English
Publishing year 1997
length 124 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Michael Caton-Jones
script Chuck Pastor
production Michael Caton-Jones,
Sean Daniel ,
James Jacks ,
Kevin Jarre
music Carter Burwell
camera Karl Walter Lindenlaub
cut Jim Clark

The Jackal (original title: The Jackal) is an action thriller from 1997 by Michael Caton-Jones about a former IRA fighter who has to face an old enemy for the last time - the professional killer "Jackal".

The film is a free remake of the 1973 film of the same name by Fred Zinnemann , based on the novel Der Schakal by Frederick Forsyth .


During a joint police operation by the Russian FSB and the FBI , the Russian policewoman Valentina Koslova shot and killed the mafioso Ghazzi Murad in self-defense. His brother Terek then declares war on the FSB and the Americans. He hires a professional killer named “The Jackal”, who is supposed to kill a high-ranking figure in US politics as revenge for Ghazzi’s death.

Koslova and FBI assistant director Carter Preston soon find out that Terek's men are gathering information on Donald Brown, the director of the FBI, and also connecting to the Jackal. However, since the US authorities have hardly any information about him and no one knows his face, they have to find the former ETA terrorist Isabella Zanconia, who used to be involved with the killer. The only one who knows Isabella's whereabouts is ex-IRA sniper Declan Mulqueen, who is serving a long sentence in a US high-security wing. After an initial refusal, he agrees to help them: He also knows the jackal's face and promises to support the FBI as long as Isabella is kept out of everything. The FBI rules out a pardon for Mulqueen; he is only promised a transfer to a prison with a low security level.

Meanwhile, the jackal procures a number of false identities and a machine cannon , and prepares his entry into the United States. He has the inventor Ian Lamont build a remotely controllable rotating platform for the machine gun that has meanwhile been delivered to Canada . When Lamont tries to extort a much higher payment from him for the agreed release of the construction plans, the jackal shoots him with this weapon while trying out in the field.

Declan reveals the whereabouts of Isabella to the FBI, with whom he used to be, but who has now started a family of her own. Declan meets with her under the supervision of the FBI. They say goodbye for good, and she slips him a key to a locker in which a forged passport and money are waiting for the return journey to Ireland . She begs him to use it, but Declan is determined to hunt down the jackal; In a firefight, the latter injured not only himself, but also the pregnant Isabella so badly that they lost their unborn child together.

The jackal is now mingling with participants in a sailing regatta in a boat and is traveling from Canada to the USA. He is hiding in the home of a Washington DC homosexual attorney with whom he had briefly made acquaintance. After killing him, he turns to Isabella's house, where he only finds Major Koslova and some FBI agents. He kills everyone and leaves the dying policewoman with the message to Declan that "he just can't protect his women".

A short time later, Declan arrives at Isabella's house. Valentina just gives him the jackal's message before she dies in his arms. Through this sentence and a few other clues, Declan realizes that the planned murder victim is not the FBI director, but the first lady as she attends the opening of a children's hospital as patron. At the last second, Declan and Preston are able to prevent the attack, with the latter being injured in the leg by projectile splinters. Disguised as a policeman, the jackal shoots the remote-controlled automatic cannon into the facade and into the crowd. Declan previously spotted the car and damaged the precision controls with a shot from over 750 meters away. He chases the jackal into the subway , where, after a long chase through the tunnel, he takes a young girl hostage on a platform and forces the Irishman to lay down his weapon. Just as he is about to kill Declan, Isabella steps in. Declan kept her informed on a cell phone. She shoots down the jackal who has her unborn child on the conscience, thereby fulfilling a prophecy of Major Koslova: “It is said that the Basques live according to the vendetta . If they hate someone, they do it forever. And when they love, it's the same. ”When the jackal pulls himself up again to reach for his weapon, he is shot by Declan.

The jackal is buried in a nameless grave on the edge of a garbage dump. Preston tells Declan that he cannot be pardoned but that he will be held in a low-security detention center for the final years of his sentence. He himself is now inviolable because he has saved the first lady. He suspects that the IRA has set up a secret depository of money and a new identity for Declan. He says goodbye to the Irishman to have a coffee so that he has enough time to break away and make his way back to his home country.

Cast and dubbing

The German-language dubbing of the film was done at Hermes Synchron in Potsdam. The author of the dialogue book was Christoph Seeger. Dialogue director led Leon floor .

role actor Voice actor
"The Jackal" Bruce Willis Manfred Lehmann
Declan Mulqueen Richard Gere Hubertus Bengsch
Carter Preston, Assistant FBI Director Sidney Poitier Joachim Kemmer
Valentina Koslova, Major of the FSB Diane Venora Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif
Isabella Zanconia, Mulqueen's ex-girlfriend Mathilda May Susanna Bonaséwicz
TI Witherspoon, FBI agent JK Simmons Lutz Riedel
McMurphy, FBI agent Richard lineback Stefan Gossler
Donald Brown, FBI director John Cunningham Christian Rode
Ian Lamont, locksmith, builds the carriage Jack Black Tobias Master
Emily Cowan, first lady Tess Harper Liane Rudolph
Woolburton Leslie Phillips Friedrich Schoenfelder
Douglas, Jackal's gay bar acquaintance Stephen Spinella Klaus-Peter Grap
Terek Murad, client of the jackal David Hayman Friedrich Georg Beckhaus
Ghazzi Murad, brother of Terek Ravil Isyanov Udo Schenk
Victor Politovsky, Terek's errand boy Yuri Stepanov Mathias Kunze
George Decker, husband of Zanconia Steve Bassett Leon Boden
Dennehey Walt MacPherson Hans-Jürgen Dittberner
Akashi, Army sniper Daniel Dae Kim Albert Obitz
Maggie, hostage of the jackal Maggie Castle Anja Stadlober
Vasilov Peter Sullivan Leon Boden
General Belinko Richard Cubison Michael Telloke
Beaufres Serge Houde Erich Rauker
Alexander Radzinski Jonathan Aris NN
Bill Smith Edward Fine NN
Larry King he himself Reinhard Kuhnert


  • The remake of the classic The Day of the Jackal was made in 1997 under the direction of Michael Caton-Jones. The director of the original, Fred Zinnemann, at that time already 89 years old, vehemently opposed the use of the original title for the new film adaptation. Finally, the film was released with the shortened title The Jackal, in Germany, however, the titles are identical. The new film adaptation is based only loosely on the novel, and the setting was moved from France to America in the 1990s. Accordingly, the victim is not President Charles de Gaulle , but the wife of the US President.
  • To Valentina and Witherspoon distract the song running in the garden of the Jackal, is Red tape the band Agent Provocateur . It is also on the soundtrack album and was used in the movie trailers for Underworld and Underworld: Evolution .
  • The scenes set in Metro Washington were filmed in Metro Montreal . The Lionel-Groulx and Radisson stations served as backdrops . The main actors of the film, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, act, among other things, around an MR-63 train with rubber tires, which was developed in 1963 after Paris metro trains and was in use until 2018.
  • The “Polish automatic cannon ZSU-33” used in the film about the jackal does not exist.
  • The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating "valuable".


Roger Ebert described the film in the Chicago Sun-Times of November 14, 1997 as "gloomy" ("glum") and "strangely flat". The crime shown can be carried out by any viewer faster and “more efficiently”. Ebert also wrote that Zinnemann's 1973 film, on which The Jackal is based, impressed him with its “expertise”, while the remake only managed this with its “absurdity”.

“The ambitious remake of a novel by Frederick Forsyth, adapted by Fred Zinnemann in 1972, may come up with two superstars and many fashionable effects, but it cannot derive any new facets from its original. On the contrary: The new staging falls off in every respect. "

“The remake doesn't have much in common with Fred Zinnemann's stylish crime classic. Director Michael Caton-Jones (' Basic Instinct 2 ') replaces the earlier elegance with high-tech gimmicks from the 90s, which do not fail to have an impact. Conclusion: bitter opponents, no frills thrill. "

"The remake of the material [...] at no point achieves the analytical clarity and density of Zinnemann's film, it remains a flat action film that is actually uninterested in the subject [the political as a 'deeply cynically configured field']."

- Hans J. Wulff , 2013


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Jackal . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , September 2005 (PDF; test number: 79 262 V / DVD / UMD).
  2. German dubbing index - Films - The Jackal. In: . Retrieved October 1, 2019 .
  3. The Jackal on fbw-filmb
  4. ^ Film review by Roger Ebert
  5. The jackal. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed May 12, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  6. The Jackal on:
  7. Hans J. Wulff: The jackal. In: Thomas Koebner , Hans Jürgen Wulff (eds.): Film genres. Thriller (= RUB . No. 19145). Reclam, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-019145-3 , pp. 181-186, here 185.