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Limb & Spinal Conditions: Major Films  
TitleJacknife (1989)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityMental Limb Wheelchair War trauma
CountryUSA
Length102
GenreDrama
Rating4
DirectorDavid Jones
CastRobert de Niro Ed Harris Kathy Baker Charles Dutton
NotesMegs (De Niro) turns up unexpectedly on the doorstep of a mate, Dave (Ed Harris) he was in Vietnam with. Dave's sister, Martha, (Kathy Baker) answers the door and he tells her he and her brother are going fishing. But a date was never fixed for this and her brother is in bed sleeping off a hangover. Megs fancies Martha but his mission is to save Dave. Megs gives the impression that saving Dave is urgent but he's waited 15 years and has only come from the other side of town. The film is set in Connecticut. When Dave comes out of his alcoholic stupour he insists to his sister that Megs is no friend, he's a crazy man. He tells her that when Megs came home from Vietnam he was always getting into fights and was on the point of being put away. Dave doesn't want his sister to go out with him saying he's crazy, he's bad news. Megs and Dave go to a group meeting of vets where men express themselves but Dave won't stay. The meetings are organised by a black vet in a wheelchair. This is a film about a real world inhabited by real people very well played by the de Niro, Harris and Baker. We do learn about these people's lives and we begin to understand.

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