Film Screening: You Don't Know Jack

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Film & Other Media


Japanese American National Museum
100 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, California, 90012
United States

You Don’t Know Jack is a new one-hour documentary film by director/filmmaker and SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi. The film tells the fascinating story of a pioneering American entertainer Jack Soo, born as Goro Suzuki, who grew up in Oakland and became the first Asian American to be cast in the lead role in a regular television series Valentine’s Day (1963), and later starred in the popular comedy show Barney Miller (1975-1978), laying the groundwork for a new generation of Asian American actors and comedians.

The film features rare footage and interviews with Soo’s co-stars and friends, including actors George Takei, Nancy Kwan and Max Gail, comedians Steve Landesberg and Gary Austin, and producer Hal Kanter, tracing Jack’s early beginnings as a nightclub singer and comedian, to his breakthrough role as Sammy Fong in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway play and film version of The Flower Drum Song.

The film also explores why Soo, a former internee who was actually born Goro Suzuki, was forced to change his name in the post WWII era, in order to perform in clubs in the mid-west. Because of his experiences, throughout his career in films and television, Soo refused to play roles that were demeaning to Asian Americans and often spoke out against negative ethnic portrayals.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A by director Jeff Adachi. For more information, please visit


JANM . 更新日 2010年7月13日



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