6.5/10
3,553
26 user 11 critic

Jack the Bear (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 2 April 1993 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

Danny DeVito is John Leary, 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 ... See full summary »

Writers:

Dan McCall (novel), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A seemingly simple plan to steal money goes increasingly awry.

Director: Mike Barker
Stars: Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin
S.F.W. (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An alienated and misanthropic teenager gains sudden and unwanted celebrity status after he's taken hostage by terrorists where his indifference to their threats to kill him makes news headlines.

Director: Jefery Levy
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Busey
Overnight Delivery (Video 1998)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man suspects his girlfriend of being unfaithful. So he sends her a letter, but then finds out that he was wrong. He has twenty-four hours to stop the package, prevent a disaster, and fall... See full summary »

Director: Jason Bloom
Stars: Paul Rudd, Christine Taylor, Reese Witherspoon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A coming of age story set in the south of the U.S. when Elvis was King.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a young girl is diagnosed with leukemia, her father and stepmother must decide if they should risk their son's life by exploring his potentiality as a bone marrow donor.

Director: Andy Tennant
Stars: Joanna Kerns, Bruce Davison, Joseph Mazzello
Freeway (1996)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A twisted take on "Little Red Riding Hood", with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker travelling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer and pedophile.

Director: Matthew Bright
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Bokeem Woodbine
Twilight (1998)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A retired detective accepts a simple task, unaware that it will tear open old, forgotten, but deadly wounds.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman
Wildflower (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An abused and partially deaf girl is helped back into society by two resourceful children.

Director: Diane Keaton
Stars: Beau Bridges, Susan Blakely, William McNamara
Cobb (1994)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reporter hired to write the 'official' biography of Ty Cobb discovers just how dark the baseball legend's real story is.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl, Lolita Davidovich
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A corporate raider threatens a hostile take-over of a "mom and pop" company. The patriarch of the company enlists the help of his wife's daughter, who is a lawyer, to try and protect the ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Danny DeVito, Gregory Peck, Penelope Ann Miller
Fear (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny DeVito ... John Leary
Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. ... Jack Leary
Miko Hughes ... Dylan Leary
Gary Sinise ... Norman Strick
Art LaFleur ... Mr. Festinger
Stefan Gierasch ... Father-in-Law
Erica Yohn Erica Yohn ... Mother-in-Law
Andrea Marcovicci ... Elizabeth Leary
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Peggy Etinger
Reese Witherspoon ... Karen Morris
Bert Remsen ... Mitchell
Carl Gabriel Yorke ... Gordon Layton
Lee Garlington ... Mrs. Festinger
Lorinne Vozoff Lorinne Vozoff ... Mrs. Mitchell
Justin Mosley Spink Justin Mosley Spink ... Dexter Mitchell
Edit

Storyline

Danny DeVito is John Leary, 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.) Leary's conscience, and a quantity of alcohol, leads him to denounce a neo-fascist candidate on his children's television program, 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

Taglines:

Laugh. Cry. Hold on tight.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pequeño papá See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,145,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Danny DeVito was considered for the lead role in Kindergarten Cop (1990), which also featured Miko Hughes. 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 Lost in Space (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Lover
Written by Bobby Darin
Performed by Ricky Nelson (as Rick Nelson)
Courtesy of Epic Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very touching
30 September 2002 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

"Jack the Bear" is a touching, underrated piece of cinema with fine performances all-around. Danny DeVito gives one of his best performances, combining his knack for comedy with his knack for serious drama. His character rings very true to life. Many people who seem extremely happy and always crack jokes are actually hiding tons of emotion baggage. Just look at most comedians. How many of them live clean, happy lives? DeVito's character, John, knew how to make people laugh and smile, but the only one who could see what's hiding behind his smile is his eldest son, Jack. I know people like John, who are almost always cheerful, but later on I found out they're really crying on the inside.

DeVito steals the show, like he usually does, but the rest of the cast is superb as well. The boy who plays the son is quite good, though his emotional outbursts are sometimes hammy. Miko Hughes, who was terrific in "Mercury Rising" with Bruce Willis, delivers a wonderful performance even though he hardly says a word throughout the film. His facial expressions and body language, especially considering how young he was, is impressive enough. Reese Witherspoon shows that she was just as cute and charming back then, as she is now (everyone should check out her very first film, "Man in the Moon"). Gary Sinise gives one of his most creepy, powerful performances as a racist Nazi loner, who threatens the children in the neighborhood. The scenes with him are extremely compelling, almost heart-stopping.

This is a fascinating, uplifting story that's only sometimes manipulative. I was very touched, and some scenes even brought me to tears. John is the type of character you feel much sympathy for, despite the fact that he's an alcoholic and tends to cause a scene. You feel even more sorry for him because of that. We don't want to see his life go through this downward spiral. Yet nobody's perfect. We all have our fatal flaws.

My score: 8 (out of 10)


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed