Jack Be Nimble (1992)

New Zealand,
35mm film, Eastmancolor, 1.85:1
Dolby Stereo, English

A New Zealand horror film directed by Garth Maxwell.

Plot Summary

Jack and Dora are adopted by different families after their mother's nervous breakdown and while Dora has a normal childhood, Jack is abused by his adoptive father. As an adult Dora develops psychic powers and uses them to track down Jack who has hypnotised his adoptive parents into commit suicide and is now looking for revenge on his real parents.


Directed by: Garth Maxwell
© 1992. Essential Productions Limited
Essential Productions Limited in association with the New Zealand Film Commission present
Executive Producers: Murray Newey, John Barnett
Producers: Jonathan Dowling, Kelly Rogers
Associate Producer: Judith Trye
Written by: Garth Maxwell
Additional Screenplay Material: Rex Pilgrim
Director of Photography: Donald Duncan
Editor: John Gilbert
Music by: Chris Neal
Sound Recordist: Dick Reade
Costume Designer: Ngila Dickson
Make-up Designer: Viv Mepham
Make-up/Hair: Debra East
Special Effects: Kevin Chisnall
Production Designer: Grant Major

Alexis Arquette (Jack)
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy (Dora)
Bruno Lawrence (Teddy)
Tony Barry (Clarrie)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Clarrie's wife)
Brenda Simmons (Mrs Birch)
Gilbert Goldie (Mr Birch)
Tricia Phillips (Anne)
Paul Minifie (Kevin)
Sam Smith (little Jack)
Hannah Jessop (little Dora)
Nicholas Antwis (Jack aged 7)
Olivia Jessop (Dora aged 8)
Kristin Seth (older sister 1)
Amber Woolston (older sister 2)
Tracey Brown (older sister 3)
Wendy Adams (older sister 4)
Nina Lopez (middle sister 1)
Beth Morrison (middle sister 2)
Ella Brasella (middle sister 3/younger sister 4)
Joanna Morrison (middle sister 4/younger sister 3)
Amy Morrison (younger sister 1)
Victoria Spence (younger sister 2)


Empire no.57 (March 1994) p.34 – illustrated credits, review (New films by Kim Newman)
Fangoria no.135 (August 1994) pp.50-53 – illustrated review with Garth Maxwell (Jack be nimble, Jack be sick by Mark Salisbury)
Flesh and Blood no.3 (1994) p.14 – illustrated note
NZ Film no.50 (October 1993) pp.2-3 (New Zealand) – illustrated note (Canadian praise for first feature)
NZ Film no.51 (May 1994) pp.6-7 (New Zealand) – illustrated article (London critics compare Maxwell with David Lynch)
NZ Film no.52 (October 1994) p.9 (New Zealand) – note
Onfilm vol.9 no.8 (September 1992) p.14 (New Zealand) – credits (Production survey)
Onfilm vol.9 no.9 (October 1992) p.7 (New Zealand) – article (Jumping Jack flash over hurdles)
Onfilm vol.10 no.4 (May 1993) pp.10; 18 (New Zealand) – illustrated article (Not a love story); credits (Post-Production)
Onfilm vol.10 no.10 (November 1993) p.9 (New Zealand) – illustrated interview with Garth Maxwell (Expressions of Freedom by David Gapes)
Shivers no.9 (October 1993) pp.12-14 – illustrated interview with Garth Maxwell
Sight & Sound vol.4 no.2 (February 1994) p.54 – illustrated credits, review (by Geoffrey Macnab)
Sight & Sound vol.4 n.6 (June 1994) p.66 – video note
Sight & Sound vol.5 no.4 (April 1995) p.62 – video note
Starburst no.185 (January 1994) pp.45-46, 47 – credits, review (Preview by Paul Jones)
Variety 14 June 1993 p.58 – credits, review (by David Stratton)
Variety 25 October 1993 p.83 – credits, review (by Leonard Klady)

Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.260 – credits