Jacknife is a 1989 American film directed by David Jones and starring Robert De Niro, Ed Harris and Kathy Baker. The film focuses on a small, serious story, with emphasis on characterization and the complex tension between people in a close relationship. Stephen Metcalfe, upon whose play Strange Snow (1982) the film was based, wrote the screenplay.

Jacknife 1989 film.jpg
Australian Poster
Directed byDavid Jones
Produced byCarol Baum
Robert Schaffel
Written byStephen Metcalfe
Music byBruce Broughton
CinematographyBrian West
Edited byJohn Bloom
Distributed byCineplex Odeon Films
Release date
March 10, 1989 (1989-03-10)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million
Box office$2,049,769


Joseph Megessey (known to most as Megs) is a Vietnam war veteran suffering post-Vietnam stress syndrome who is having trouble fitting in with society. He takes on the responsibility of drawing Dave, a fellow veteran now an alcoholic, out of his shell by coaxing him to enjoy life again, as well as urging him to face up to some of his darker memories.

Megs finds himself attracted to Dave's meek sister Martha, who lives with Dave and looks after him. This attraction leads to a love affair, much to Dave's disapproval. Dave eventually vents his anger and frustration at a high school prom where Martha is a chaperone being accompanied by Megs. This leads to Dave finally facing his demons and acknowledging Megs and Martha for being there for him. Afterwards, despite initially ending what was a promising romance, Megs returns to Martha.



The movie was filmed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Meriden, Connecticut, Wallingford, Connecticut, Newington, Connecticut, and New Britain, Connecticut and Newtown, CT.

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