This article is about the film. For other uses, see Jackknife (disambiguation).

Australian Poster
Directed by David Jones
Produced by Carol Baum
Robert Schaffel
Written by Stephen Metcalfe
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography Brian West
Edited by John Bloom
Distributed by Cineplex Odeon Films
Release dates
March 10, 1989 (1989-03-10)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million
Box office $2,049,769

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.


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, Canada, Meriden, Connecticut, Wallingford, Connecticut, Newington, Connecticut, and New Britain, Connecticut.

External links

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