6.5/10
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26 user 11 critic

Jack the Bear (1993)

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

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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 »

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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
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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 TV 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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pequeño papá See more »

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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 »
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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

Jack refers to the Oakland A's after they won the '72 series as the 'Amazin A's'. The actual nickname was the 'Swingin A's' 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 The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) 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 »

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User Reviews

A brave film
31 October 2003 | by jasonaySee all my reviews

Warning: Contains some spoilers

Although essentially a "coming of age" drama, few coming of age films show the degree of anger experienced by the title character of this movie. Jack is an adolescent who, as the movie opens, has just moved to a new neighborhood after the death of his mother. During the next few months, he faces some harsh life realities, such as a new school, his decaying opinion of his father, the abduction of his little brother and his fear of a dangerous neighbor. Most of all he faces the loss of his mother and deals with it the only way he can: by crying. None of these themes are new in a coming of age movie, but the emotions Jack goes through seem multiplied by 100 when compared to similar films. When he feels guilt, I was shocked by its intensity. And when he feels angry, I felt uneasy at the degree of rage shown by a basically mild mannered pre-teen.

The film is also not afraid to show its characters acting unpredictably. I came to care about them and was sometimes shocked by their behavior. But although disturbing, it was always realistic. All in all, I thought the film offered a bold example of how a family copes with big problems. I'd say that it's too intense for small children, but unfortunately adults may be put off by the story-line and the age of the main character. However, I'd recommend it to teens and adults who might have forgotten how rough adolescence can be.


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