Jacknife

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As Megs, a clearly unstable Vietvet whose sudden reappearence in the life of his now nearly alcoholic former buddy Dave (Harris) is part theraputic, part traumatic, De Niro is touching, funny and entirely convicing. The moment he arrives out of the blue at the Conneticut home Dave shares with his schoolmarm sister Martha (Baker), we immediately believe in Megs' inarticulacy, slobbishness and sensitivity. Dave's welcome is less than warm; Martha shifts from horror through hesitant acceptance to friendship. Unsurprisingly, as Megs' hidden strengths rise to the surface, he and Martha fall for each other; equally unsurprisingly, Dave - afraid of being alone - opposes their relationsip. The stage origins (Stephen Metcalfe's play Strange Snow) of this gently humorous, lyrical study in loneliness and the lasting legacy of 'Nam are all too evident; but Jones focuses attention on his three actors, all of whom serve him well. The obligatory 'Nam flashbacks are clumsy, the resolution a little pat; but De Niro, compelling from start to finish, carries the film.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: David Jones
Screenwriter: Stephen Metcalfe
Cast: Robert De Niro
Ed Harris
Kathy Baker
Charles Dutton
Elizabeth Franz
Tom Isbell
Loudon Wainwright III

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Nigel McKenna

A highly Original Film . The acting is thoroughly convincing and the Story I also thought was quite moving . Ed Harris as usual just played his role with great gusto . All the Performers played as if they believed in the Story the Film was trying to tell .