6.4/10
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29 user 14 critic

Jacknife (1989)

R | | Drama | 10 March 1989 (USA)
A conflict develops between a troubled Vietnam veteran and the sister he lives with when she becomes involved romantically with the army buddy who reminds him of the tragic battle they both... See full summary »

Director:

(as David Jones)

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Megs (as Robert DeNiro)
...
Martha
...
Dave
Sloane Shelton ...
Shirley
...
Depot Mechanic
Michael Arkin ...
Dispatcher
Tom Isbell ...
Bobby Buckman
...
Helicopter Gunner
...
Tiny
...
Jake (as Charles Dutton)
...
Corridor Student (as Bruce Ramsey)
...
His Girlfriend
...
Tony
...
Rick
Lois Dellar ...
Cocktail Waitress
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Storyline

A conflict develops between a troubled Vietnam veteran and the sister he lives with when she becomes involved romantically with the army buddy who reminds him of the tragic battle they both survived. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three buddies in Vietnam. Two survived. Only one is really alive.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bicska  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,049,769 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(in selected theatres)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two theatrical feature films starring actor Robert De Niro first released in 1989 with the other being We're No Angels (1989). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joseph 'Jacknife' Megessey: Rise and shine cause it is time!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dave, Megs and Martha.
18 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jacknife is directed by David Jones and adapted to screenplay by Stephen Metcalfe from his own play Strange Snow. It stars Robert De Niro, Ed Harris and Kathy Baker. Music is by Bruce Broughton and cinematography by Brian West.

De Niro and Harris play two Vietnam War veterans trying to come to terms with their lives post the war. Things are further complicated when De Niro gets romantically involved with Harris sister played by Baker.

Wonderfully sedate and intimate, Jacknife, whilst not creating anything new in the "coming home from Nam" genre of film, is somewhat refreshing in how it relies on dialogue and believable character interactions. Some clichés do find their way into the play later in the day as Harris' character starts to come out of is troubled shell, but this is mostly a thoughtful treatment of loneliness and the on going effects of the war. The three up top performances are well delivered, with De Niro unsurprisingly carrying the film with ease.

A box office flop on release, there's a good chance that Jones' film came too late in the Vietnam War movie cycle. It's also safe to say that the slow pace and the dialogue heavy nature of it made it only appealing to a certain demographic of film lovers. It's worth seeking out now as an anti-dote to blunderbuss blockbusters, because it's good film making that has a story that is touching and often humorous, and for many of a certain era, it's all too real. 7/10


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