Earlier this week someone named Big Sven left a comment on my blog post, Day of the Cravat. In case you missed that one, it was about the movie Day of Jackal, and the sartorial choices of the assassin in the movie (a.k.a. The Jackal).
In case you’re too feckless to go read the original post, here’s what I said about the Jackal’s pants:
First, he’s got these taupe-colored high-waist pants, seemingly his only pair, and he wears them in every scene in the first half of the movie. They’re clearly miracle-pants, surviving scene after tedious scene, including scenes that are sorta action-y, with nary a wrinkle or a stain. These pants are the pride of the British Empire. They have a stiff upper inseam.
I also take note of all his cravats, and even include three super-hot cravat photos. (Really. You haven’t read the original post? Your mother will be secretly ashamed.)
OK, now that you’ve done the reading, let’s check out Big Sven’s comment, because it’s all kinds of interesting–so interesting, I’m going to put it here in all its verbatimness:
It’s a film, small detail-misses occur even in the most expensive films and The Day of The Jackal was a cheap b-film, the actors using their own clothes for the most part. Surprisingly many actors are actually quiet bland and boring as day-to-day people, without a script in their hands.
The Jackal’s trousers: Edward Fox was an ex-lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards (hence that lovely well-trained body!) and thus was used to living rough yet keeping his kit in good shape. He’d have out himself on a charge if his clothes got dirty or creased!
The cravats: Ditto, Fox was used to wearing woollen scarves, camo-net scarves, when out on manoevers, check-out today’s soldiers, they still do this even in the desert. So he preferred cravats in civilian life, too, and thus it felt ok for him to wear them in the film. The Jackal character must have been an ex-soldier as all did their National Service in those days, this is where he learned to be a marksman, as a company-sniper, hence even he would be used to dressing this way. Lots of ‘Hooray-Harrys’ or ‘Ruperts’, as they are also called (can’t use what the squadies call them in this forum!) wear cravats for this reason.
By the way, Fox is ‘of the Manor-born’, related to the British Astor family, heavily into banking and the media, they owned The Times (they were also famed for their involvement in the Profumo Affair) and the (German?) American Langhorne Family, his auntie was actresse Joyce Grenfell.
Fox may also have met the man Forsyth based the Jackal on, an ex-army sniper and now mercenary, Jimmy Duggan, South London. Could explain why he took-on the roll, films never interested him. Eric Porter Britain and Badel certainly knew Duggan, visiting him at his flat in Beckenham, South London and meeting him up at The Garrick Theatre. I moonlighted there and saw them together. I have actually acted together with Porter on a police training-film.
I’m actually trying to get a producer/director interested in doing a remake of The Day of The Jackal, a less ‘boring’ one. But I’ve researched so much material it would probably be better as a TV-series.
One lives in hope….