Jack and the Dentist‘s Daughter (1984)

About the Film

"Jack and the Dentist's Daughter" is part of a series of folktale adaptations done by Folkstreams founder/director Tom Davenport.

“Jack and the Dentist’s Daughter,” is a specifically American folktale, adapted from a tale in an Appalachian story cycle. It is strongly related to the Grimms’ tale called “The Master Thief.” Featuring a predominantly black cast and set in small-town America during the early 1930s, it is a comical story about a clever hero who wins his true love by using his head. Jack is a poor farmer’s son who wants to marry Emily, the daughter of the town dentist. The dentist won’t let him do so without a lot of money. Jack leaves home to find work, but circumstances force him to become a “Robin Hood” figure. Stealing from a group of thieves, he returns home well-off. But the dentist breaks his word and demands that Jack “steal” the dentist’s own well-guarded car as a test. Jack meets this challenge, but the dentist twice more requires that Jack steal something he names. Jack’s last performance is his best, and finally the dentist agrees to the marriage.

Starring Kent Jackman (Jack), Deidre Johnson (Emily), Gorham Scott (Dentist), Tom Agner ( Dental Patient), Clarence Greg (Jack's Dad), Alfie Brown (Robbers' Housekeeper), Prentice Row, Philip Brogden & Cedric Harris (Robbers), Phylis Baker (Dentist's Wife), Rick Breitenfeld (Preacher)


  • CINE Golden Eagle, American Film Festival, Blue Ribbon


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Tom Davenport, Mimi Davenport, the distributor Davenport Films, or Folkstreams.