Jack the Bear (1993)

PG-13 | 114 mins | Drama | 2 April 1993

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HISTORY

The film includes intermittent voice-over narration by Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.’s character, “Jack Leary.”
       End credits state: “Footage from Invasion of the Body Snatchers provided by Republic Pictures Home Video; Footage from Them provided by Warner Bros.; Footage from ‘Cookie Jar Empty/Full’ provided by Sesame Street Children’s Television Workshop; 1972 World Series stock footage provided by Phoenix Communications Group; Footage from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman provided by MCA/Universal; Footage from Lost in Space provided by Space Productions; Footage from Cheaper by the Dozen and The Fly provided by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.”; and, “The Producers wish to thank the faculty and student body of Los Feliz Hills School, the Franklin Hills Residents Association.”
       Electrician Victor Svimonoff is credited onscreen as “Vic Svimonof.”
       According to the 4 Feb 1982 DV, CBS Theatrical Films and IPC Films had been developing a motion picture adaptation of Dan McCall’s 1974 novel, Jack the Bear, since the late 1970s. In 1978, IPC founders Jane Fonda and Bruce Gilbert considered Fonda’s former husband, Roger Vadim, to direct a script written by Larry D. Cohen, but claimed Fonda would not be involved. Three years later, the 21 Aug 1985 DV listed Bob Rafelson as director, and a 7 Nov 1985 DV news item suggested Jack Nicholson was attached to star.
       However, by the end of the decade, a 1 Aug 1989 DV brief reported that production was moving ahead on a script by Steven Zaillian, with former CBS Theatrical Films employee Ron Yerxa ... More Less

The film includes intermittent voice-over narration by Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.’s character, “Jack Leary.”
       End credits state: “Footage from Invasion of the Body Snatchers provided by Republic Pictures Home Video; Footage from Them provided by Warner Bros.; Footage from ‘Cookie Jar Empty/Full’ provided by Sesame Street Children’s Television Workshop; 1972 World Series stock footage provided by Phoenix Communications Group; Footage from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman provided by MCA/Universal; Footage from Lost in Space provided by Space Productions; Footage from Cheaper by the Dozen and The Fly provided by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.”; and, “The Producers wish to thank the faculty and student body of Los Feliz Hills School, the Franklin Hills Residents Association.”
       Electrician Victor Svimonoff is credited onscreen as “Vic Svimonof.”
       According to the 4 Feb 1982 DV, CBS Theatrical Films and IPC Films had been developing a motion picture adaptation of Dan McCall’s 1974 novel, Jack the Bear, since the late 1970s. In 1978, IPC founders Jane Fonda and Bruce Gilbert considered Fonda’s former husband, Roger Vadim, to direct a script written by Larry D. Cohen, but claimed Fonda would not be involved. Three years later, the 21 Aug 1985 DV listed Bob Rafelson as director, and a 7 Nov 1985 DV news item suggested Jack Nicholson was attached to star.
       However, by the end of the decade, a 1 Aug 1989 DV brief reported that production was moving ahead on a script by Steven Zaillian, with former CBS Theatrical Films employee Ron Yerxa serving as co-producer. The 6 Dec 1990 HR indicated that Jack the Bear was the first feature film directed by Marshall Herskovitz, co-creator of the television series, thirtysomething (ABC Television Network, 29 Sep 1987—3 Sep 1991).
       Despite various reports that filming was scheduled to begin in Mar 1991, the 26 Apr 1991 Screen International and 18 Jun 1991 HR confirmed that production began 8 Apr 1991. The 24 Nov 1990 Screen International indicated that Danny DeVito’s commitment to star delayed his directing of Twentieth Century Fox’s Hoffa (1992, see entry) and his reported role in Hollywood Pictures’ Super Mario Bros. (1993, see entry).
       According to the May 1991 edition of the Franklin Hills Overview, in late Dec 1990, representatives from Twentieth Century Fox contacted the Franklin Hills, CA, Residents Association in hope of gaining permission to use the Los Feliz Hills school as a location in the film. The community accepted, viewing the deal as an opportunity to ease the school’s recent financial difficulties. In addition, crewmembers spent ten weeks constructing facades of Victorian-era homes that would transform a nearby street into the “Leary” family’s Oakland, CA, neighborhood. Filming at this location was expected to begin 26 Apr 1991, and last roughly five weeks, with the majority of scenes shot between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Production allotted an additional two weeks to tear down the sets and return the neighborhood to its original condition. The 27 Aug 1992 LAT reported that nonprofit organizations Rebuild L.A. and Christmas in April collaborated with Fox to repurpose the lumber, windows, and doors of eleven homes and five garages built for the film, making the materials available to rehabilitate twenty-five houses in South Central Los Angeles following the 1992 Los Angeles riots. A 19 Jul 1991 DV indicated that filming also took place on Stage 9 of the Fox studios. The 9 Aug 1991 HR announced completion of principal photography on 25 Jul 1991.
       More than a year later, a 4 Oct 1992 LAT article reported that Fox had previously decided to postpone the Christmas 1991 release, sparking several rumors about the studio’s faith in the project. Herskovitz contested, however, that the delay was caused because he had intended to shoot four days of additional footage that would “clarify some plot points.” Due to DeVito’s limited availability during the production of Hoffa, filming was not completed until Jul 1992. The director also cited Jack the Bear’s above-average number of scenes and “stream of consciousness feel,” which complicated the post-production process. Fox planned to screen the film in the months leading up to its anticipated Easter 1993 release.
       Following the film’s 2 Apr 1993 opening in sixty-four theaters, a 12 Apr 1993 DV item reported a box-office gross of only $250,000. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1982.
---
Daily Variety
21 Aug 1985.
---
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1985.
---
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1989.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1991.
---
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1993.
---
Franklin Hills Overview
May 1991
p. 1, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1990
p. 3, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1993
p. 10, 12.
Los Angeles Times
27 Aug 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Apr 1993
Calendar, p. 10.
New York Times
2 Apr 1993
Section C, p. 12.
Screen International
24 Nov 1990.
---
Screen International
26 Apr 1991.
---
Variety
22 Feb 1993
p. 66.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An American Filmworks/Lucky Dog Production
A Marshall Herskovitz Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d 2d asst cam
"B" cam op
1st asst "B" cam
Best boy
Best boy
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Rigging best boy
Rigging elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Rigging best boy
Rigging grip
Still photog
Video playback
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
Sketch artist
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
On set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Drapery
Const coord
Gen foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Plasterer foreman
Paint foreman
Const accountant
Standby painter
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Head greensman
Greensman
Greensman
Greensman
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
Set costumer
Tailor
MUSIC
Mus comp
Asst mus ed
Mus performed by
Mus performed by
Mus performed by
Mus performed by
Mus performed by
Mus performed by
2d eng
Contractor
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley walker
Foley walker
Foley mixer
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Title des
Title des
Opt des
Titles & opticals
Addl opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Midwest casting by
Prod supv
Scr supv
Asst to Bruce Gilbert
Asst to Marshall Herskovitz/Post prod coord
Asst to Ron Yerxa
Prod coord
Asst prod office coord
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Accounting clerk
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Teacher
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Caterer, Mario's Catering
First aid
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Jack the Bear by Dan McCall (Garden City, 1974).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Darkness, Darkness," written by Jesse Colin Young, performed by The Youngbloods, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Gimme Some Lovin'," written by Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood and Spencer Davis, performed by Spencer Davis Group, courtesy of EMI Records Group/EMI Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets and Island Records Ltd.
"Teenage Nervous Breakdown," written by Lowell George, performed by Little Feat, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Darkness, Darkness," written by Jesse Colin Young, performed by The Youngbloods, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Gimme Some Lovin'," written by Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood and Spencer Davis, performed by Spencer Davis Group, courtesy of EMI Records Group/EMI Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets and Island Records Ltd.
"Teenage Nervous Breakdown," written by Lowell George, performed by Little Feat, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Today," written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner, performed by Jefferson Airplane, courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
"Concerto For Piano & Orchestra No. 21, C Major, K. 467 Allegro Maestro (Cadenza M. Perahia)," performed by Murray Perahia and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, courtesy of Sony Classical, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Section 43," written by Joe McDonald, performed by Country Joe & The Fish, courtesy of Vanguard Records/A Welk Music Group Co., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"(I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo," written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
"Can't Find My Way Home," written by Steve Winwood, performed by Blind Faith, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution
"Moonlight Serenade," written by Glenn Miller, performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
"I Shall Be Released," written by Bob Dylan, performed by The Band, courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"When A Man Loves A Woman," written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, performed by Percy Sledge, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Dream Lover," written by Bobby Darin, performed by Rick Nelson, courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 April 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 2 April 1993
Production Date:
8 April--25 July 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
25 March 1993
Copyright Number:
PA606071
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras & Lenses
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31368
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Following the death of his wife in the early 1970s, television personality John Leary relocates to Oakland, California, with his two sons: twelve-year-old Jack and three-year-old Dylan. Due to his job hosting the late-night horror movie program, Midnight Shriek, Leary quickly gains popularity among the eccentric neighborhood children, who believe in monsters and live in fear of their crippled neighbor, Norman Strick. One evening, the children spray-paint Norman’s front stoop, but are frightened away by his vicious dog. As Jack sneaks back to bed, Norman arrives at the Leary household with his foot bloodied. Without revealing Jack’s involvement in the prank, Norman claims to have cut himself while investigating a noise in his yard, and Leary takes him to the hospital. Over time, Leary’s former in-laws become increasingly critical of his heavy drinking and his decision to leave the boys with a babysitter while he is at work. On the first day of the new school year, Leary oversleeps, forcing Jack to take a tearful Dylan to preschool. Tragedy strikes the neighborhood when the grandmother and guardian of a child named Dexter Mitchell dies of a drug overdose. The incident reminds Leary of his responsibilities as a parent, and he resolves to walk his sons to school every day. When a girl named Karen Morris shows romantic interest in Jack, he invites her over for dinner. After the meal, Leary leads them in a series of games, and Jack shyly kisses Karen goodnight. As the young lovers grow closer and the Oakland Athletics win the World Series, Jack believes “everything is falling into place.” On ... +


Following the death of his wife in the early 1970s, television personality John Leary relocates to Oakland, California, with his two sons: twelve-year-old Jack and three-year-old Dylan. Due to his job hosting the late-night horror movie program, Midnight Shriek, Leary quickly gains popularity among the eccentric neighborhood children, who believe in monsters and live in fear of their crippled neighbor, Norman Strick. One evening, the children spray-paint Norman’s front stoop, but are frightened away by his vicious dog. As Jack sneaks back to bed, Norman arrives at the Leary household with his foot bloodied. Without revealing Jack’s involvement in the prank, Norman claims to have cut himself while investigating a noise in his yard, and Leary takes him to the hospital. Over time, Leary’s former in-laws become increasingly critical of his heavy drinking and his decision to leave the boys with a babysitter while he is at work. On the first day of the new school year, Leary oversleeps, forcing Jack to take a tearful Dylan to preschool. Tragedy strikes the neighborhood when the grandmother and guardian of a child named Dexter Mitchell dies of a drug overdose. The incident reminds Leary of his responsibilities as a parent, and he resolves to walk his sons to school every day. When a girl named Karen Morris shows romantic interest in Jack, he invites her over for dinner. After the meal, Leary leads them in a series of games, and Jack shyly kisses Karen goodnight. As the young lovers grow closer and the Oakland Athletics win the World Series, Jack believes “everything is falling into place.” On Halloween, Jack decides he is too mature to go trick-or-treating in costume, and opts to pass out candy at home instead. After visiting with Norman Strick, Dexter Mitchell shows up at the Leary house dressed in a Nazi uniform. Horrified, Jack immediately tells his father, who remains skeptical until Norman knocks on the door collecting campaign contributions for a Neo-Nazi state assembly candidate. Just then, the Learys’ black babysitter enters the house, and Jack closes the door in Norman’s face. That night on his television show, Leary goes on a drunken tirade lambasting Norman’s beliefs. The next morning, Jack finds Norman’s dog poisoned on their front lawn, and police wrongly suspect Leary. In the following weeks, Leary’s producer suspends him from the show, and Karen breaks up with Jack. Embarrassed by his father’s behavior, Jack implores him to start acting like an adult. Instead, Leary withdraws, leaving Jack to tend to his younger brother. One afternoon, Dylan and Dexter watch television while Jack retreats to the attic to cry about the loss of his mother. Upon his return, Dexter announces that Norman kidnapped Dylan and drove away in a white car. Police investigate, and Leary speaks about the issue to the viewers of his television show. As tension settles over the house, Jack remembers the argument between his parents that preceded his mother’s death in a car accident. A few days later, Leary and Jack learn that Dylan has been found in a muddy creek across town. After three days in the hospital, the boy is allowed to return home, but he refuses to speak. Meanwhile, stress causes Jack to lash out at his schoolteacher, and Leary loses his temper with his in-laws. Finally cracking, he goes to the Strick house and threatens Norman’s elderly parents with a baseball bat, beating dents into Norman’s prized Thunderbird convertible. As a result, the Leary children are sent to stay with their grandparents in Los Angeles, California. Miserable there, Jack books a one-way airplane ticket back to Oakland to retrieve his father, whose anguish has caused him to struggle at work. Late that night, Leary returns home and begins fixing a sandwich, unaware that his son is asleep upstairs. In the basement, Norman secretly cuts the power line, pitching the house into darkness. Jack hears the intruder, but mistakenly clubs his father on the head, knocking him unconscious. Norman emerges from the hall closet and chases the boy out the upstairs bathroom window. Jack becomes trapped on a tree branch, but Norman loses his footing and falls among a pack of ferocious dogs in the yard below. Sometime later, Leary cleans up the house for Dylan’s homecoming. Although he continues his job as a “creature-feature” host, he refuses to play-act as a monster for the neighborhood children. One night, Jack plays his mother’s favorite song on the piano and begins to sob, uncertain about their family’s future. Dylan approaches and speaks aloud for the first time since his recovery, identifying the name of the song as “Jack the Bear.” In time, Leary watches as his sons resume their lives and play in the yard with their friends. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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