From the guy that brought you “Slanted Screen” comes “You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story”. San Francisco Public Defender and director Jeff Adachi delivers another great documentary to us. “You Don’t Know Jack” is a 60-minute film telling Jack Soo’s story through a montage of film and television clips, rare footage, interviews with family members, friends, co-workers, and others who knew him best. Jack Soo aka Goro Suzuki was 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). (He was Detective Nick Yemana on Barney Miller.) The film traces 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 gives a new perspective of what is was like for a Japanese American during the time of internment camps as well as how Jack Soo wasn’t willing just to take a stereotypical role to build his career.
The film premiered at the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Look for it coming to a film festival near you.
You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story Trailer