Jack Be Nimble (film)

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Jack Be Nimble
Directed by Garth Maxwell
Produced by John Barnett
Murray Newey
Jonathan Dowling
Kelly Rogers
Written by Garth Maxwell
Rex Pilgrim
Starring Alexis Arquette
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy
Bruno Lawrence
Music by Chris Neal
Cinematography Donald Duncan
Edited by John Gilbert
Distributed by New Zealand Film Commission,
Essential Films
Release date
  • 1993 (1993)
Running time
92 minutes
Country New Zealand
Language English

Jack Be Nimble is a New Zealand gothic horror movie directed by Garth Maxwell, who later described it as "a stylised supernatural tale". The film stars American Alexis Arquette and New Zealand actor Sarah Smuts-Kennedy. It features one of the final movie appearances of legendary NZ actor/musician Bruno Lawrence.


Jack (Arquette) decides to put an end to the abuse he has received from his adoptive parents, and runs away to find his long lost sibling, Dora (Smuts-Kennedy). Although Dora has fared much better since their abandonment and subsequent adoption, she is also drawn to use her telepathic powers to find him. Along the way, Jack is constantly pursued by the four daughters of his adoptive parents, seeking revenge for their parents' demise at the hands of Jack and his invention.

DVD release[edit]

Used copies of the film can often be found on DVD selling for multiple times their original price, due to its rarity and cult status.

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received many positive reviews since its release. Stephen Holden of The New York Times stated that "the film cuts back and forth between scenes of their childhood and adolescence, it evokes their misery and isolation with a feverish intensity that recalls scenes from Hitchcock and De Palma". Dominic Corry of the New Zealand Herald described the film as "one of the strangest New Zealand films ever made" and thought that it"deserves way more of a cult reputation than it currently enjoys".[1]


  1. ^ "Jack Be Nimble". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 

External links[edit]