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Jack the Bear (1993)

 -  Drama  -  2 April 1993 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,012 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 11 critic

Danny De Vito is a professional clown, whose wife's death in a car accident has left him to care for his two young boys. Loving, but useless at the daily job of fathering, the onus falls on... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Jack the Bear (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Leary
...
...
...
Norman Strick
...
Mr. Festinger
...
Father-in-Law
Erica Yohn ...
Mother-in-Law
...
Elizabeth Leary
...
...
...
Mitchell
Carl Gabriel Yorke ...
Gordon Layton
...
Mrs. Festinger
Lorinne Vozoff ...
Mrs. Mitchell
Justin Mosley Spink ...
Dexter Mitchell
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Storyline

Danny De Vito is a professional clown, whose wife's death in a car accident has left him to care for his two young boys. Loving, but useless at the daily job of fathering, the onus falls on plucky Jack the Bear (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.). De Vito's conscience, and a quantity of alcohol leads him to denounce a neo-fascist candidate on his children's TV programme - and also to the kidnapping of youngest son Dylan (Miko Hughes) by a disturbed neo-nazi supporter. Written by David Holmes <d.r.h@btinternet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of theme, and for some terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pequeño papá  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,145,462 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1992, Danny DeVito had played The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992), and Gary Sinise had played George in Of Mice and Men (1992). Both roles were previously played by Burgess Meredith. See more »

Goofs

At the end when Jack is playing the piano, Dylan comes downstairs and starts walking towards him. In the next shot, Dylan is back at the stairs again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack Leary: I thought I knew all about monsters. I used to watch them late at night on Dad's TV show. After we moved to Oakland, he stopped doing kid's shows, because he was different now. Everything was different. Now he was Al Gory, monster of ceremonies at Midnight Shriek.
See more »

Connections

Features Them! (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Darkness, Darkness
Written by Jesse Colin Young
Performed by The Youngbloods
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Different Kind of Horror Film
16 January 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The Leary family, John (Danny DeVito), Jack (Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.) and Dylan (Miko Hughes), have moved from Syracuse, New York to Oakland, California in the early 1970s. John was a children's show host in Syracuse, but also has a love for horror films, and becomes a television horror film host in Oakland. On one level, the film is just a drama about the Leary's trying to settle into their new life. On another level, Jack The Bear is about confronting various kinds of monsters, from make-believe to human, as well as more abstract "monsters", including behaviors that are difficult to control and accidental tragedies such as deaths.

I've seen Jack The Bear a few times now, and every time I see it I like it even better. The performances are fantastic, taking you on a roller coaster of emotions. But it almost requires multiple viewings to really "get" the film. At its heart is the growing presence and threat of the various "monsters" mentioned above. The various monsters are all woven together in very complex ways, and most of the developments later on in the film are about how those monsters can be conquered, but always at some price. Just as the threads are densely combined, so is the vanquishing of the monsters, and both the development of the monsters and the "solutions" to them are like various pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle, each piece necessary for the whole, and often affecting the whole in unexpected ways.

The direction, script, editing, cinematography, and all of the technical aspects are impeccable. The score is also wonderful and not only enhances the setting, but underscores the dramatic developments if you listen to the lyrics closely.

A 10 out of 10 from me. Don't miss this film.


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