DirectorDavid Jones Music directorBruce Broughton CountryUnited States
Release dateMarch 10, 1989 (1989-03-10) WriterStephen Metcalfe (play), Stephen Metcalfe (screenplay) Initial DVD releaseNovember 20, 2006 (Greece) CastRobert De Niro (Joseph 'Jacknife' Megessey), Kathy Baker (Martha Flannigan), Ed Harris (David 'High School' Flannigan), Ivar Brogger (Depot Mechanic), Jordan Lund (Tiny), Charles S. Dutton (Jake, Veteran Encounter Group Leader) Similar moviesThe Visitors (1972), Ed Harris appears in Jacknife and Alamo Bay, Distant Thunder (1988), In Country (1989), The War at Home (1996)
TaglineThree buddies in Vietnam. Two survived. Only one is really alive.
Jacknife trailer 1989 hq
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.
Robert De Niro as Megs, Joseph Megessey
Ed Harris as Dave
Kathy Baker as Martha
Sloane Shelton as Shirley
Ivar Brogger as Depot Mechanic
Michael Arkin as Dispatcher
Tom Isbell as Bobby 'Red Sox' Buckman
Kirk Taylor as Helicopter Gunner
Jordan Lund as Tiny
Tom Rack as William Green
Charles S. Dutton as Jake, Veteran Encounter Group Leader (as Charles Dutton)
Bruce Ramsay as Corridor Student
Jessalyn Gilsig as His Girlfriend
George Gerdes as Tony
Josh Pais as Rick
The movie was filmed in Montreal, Canada, Meriden, Connecticut, Wallingford, Connecticut, Newington, Connecticut, and New Britain, Connecticut.