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"You Don't Know Jack" Movie Review

Updated on March 29, 2016

Jack Kevorkian, "Dr. Death"

"You Don't Know Jack"

"You Don't Know Jack," HBO's 2011 movie about Jack Kevorkian, premiered this week. Al Pacino did a terrific job as Jack Kevorkian. His portrayal of Kevorkian was sympathetic but not one-sided. The cast included Susan Sarandon as Janet Good a local Hemlock Society woman. Danny Huston as Kevorkian's lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, and John Goodman as Kevorkian's druggist friend and volunteer assistant. Brenda Vaccaro plays Marge Janus, Kevorkian's sister who is a euthanasia advocate who encourages and assists Jack. The movie evokes sympathy for Kevorkian while presenting both sides of the assisted suicide issue.

Al Pacino in "You Don't Know Jack"
Al Pacino in "You Don't Know Jack"

Jack Kevorkian on CBS

Mitch Albom Interviews "Dr. Death"

Jack Kevorkian, "Dr. Death," was recently paroled after serving eight years of a 10-25-year sentence for 2nd degree murder for a fatally injecting a terminally ill individual who wished to end his life. Kevorkian claims to have assisted 130 people to end their lives. Kevorkian is a pathologist and a native of Pontiac, Michigan, who alienated many but had supporters as well in his crusade in the 1990s for assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

Kevorkian was interviewed recently by Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. Here's a link to Albom's interview: Unfortunately, The Detroit Free Press kills links to its articles and op-eds after a week or so. Therefor, the link to Mitch Albom's interview with the good doctor is as dead as one of Kevorkian's patients, if that's the right word.




Neil Cavuto interview with Jack Kevorkian

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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Jack Kevorkian dead at 83.

      "Jack Lessenberry, a prominent Michigan journalist who covered Dr. Kevorkian’s one-man campaign, wrote in The Detroit Metro Times: “Jack Kevorkian, faults and all, was a major force for good in this society. He forced us to pay attention to one of the biggest elephants in society’s living room: the fact that today vast numbers of people are alive who would rather be dead, who have lives not worth living.”

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 

      8 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      thanks for drawing my attention to this.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for your comment. I imagine it will become available somewhere. I found the movie quite interesting. Jack is no dummy. Some time before the last Congressional election as I was leaving the Royal Oak post office I was accosted by a beautiful young woman, as I recall in a tight sweater, who asked me if I would sign a petition. I returned her smile and accepted the clipboard to which was affixed a nominating petition for Jack Kevorkian. As I signed I looked over the woman's shoulder and there was Jack himself. I shook his hand and told him I was a fan of his and wished him well in his campaign. He is a character not unlike the famous cryo preservationist in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, whose name escapes me.

    • Jeff May profile image

      Jeffrey Penn May 

      8 years ago from St. Louis

      Would love to see this but don't get HBO; I wonder if it is online, on hulu or something.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      "You Don't Know Jack"

      Click edit above to add content to this empty capsule.

      "You Don't Know Jack" HBO's new movie about Jack Kevorkian premiered this week. Al Pacino did a terrific job as Jack Kevorkian. His portrayal of Kevorkian was sympathetic but not one-sided. The cast included Susan Sarandon as Janet Good a local euthansia advocate, Danny Huston as Kevorkian's lawyer, Jeffrey Fieger, and John Goodman as Kevorkian's friend. The evokes sympathy for Kevorkian while presenting both sides of the assisted death issue.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      There's a scene in HBO's "You Don't Know Jack" where Jack Kevorkian is asked by attorney Geoffrey Fieger if he wants decaffeinated coffee.

      "Decaf's for cowards," says Kevorkian (or rather, Al Pacino) to Fieger (Danny Huston).

      Director Barry Levinson says the small but evocative moment in the script was inspired by a remark Kevorkian made during meetings before production started.

      • Photos: 'You Don't Know Jack'

      And what was meeting Kevorkian like? "He's quite a character," says Levinson, who won an Oscar for "Rain Man" in 1988.

      That's an understatement. "You Don't Know Jack" follows the dramatic events of the 1990s, when Kevorkian -- the quirky, stubborn, outspoken crusader known as Dr. Death -- helped 130 people end their lives and became a controversial figure in the debate over physician-assisted suicide.

      http://www.freep.com/article/20100422/ENT01/422036...

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Jack K agrees with you. I do too.

    • profile image

      dhyppolite 

      8 years ago from buffalo

      i think trying to prolong life, bring more suffering and pain to the dying than helping person to ease in their last moments.

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I also agree. If i was terminally ill, had made pece with all of my demons and my family knew that I loved them, I too would rather end my life while my outer body was still graceful. If you dont stand for something you will fall for anything.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I'm with you on that one!

    • Mike360 profile image

      Mike360 

      9 years ago from The Milky Way

      Dr. Kevorkian is a hero. When our pets are too ill to go on, we get vets to end their suffering. Why can't people have the same option?

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