About the Film:
A rousing tribute to the iconic song-and-dance man in all his complexities and contradictions, SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME remembers the chameleon entertainer who blazed a trail across the shifting tides and flashpoints of 20th century America.
Dazzling audiences since he was a child, Harlem-born Davis was a dancer, singer, vaudevillian, impressionist and actor of jaw-dropping artistry and unparalleled charisma. Entering showbiz at a time of racial tension and social upheaval, he found himself frequently courting controversy even while breaking barriers, caught between the bigotry of ‘50s and ‘60s white America, and an ambivalence about his own black identity. He performed alongside Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra as a member of the Rat Pack, and was the first African-American to sleep at the White House, invited by President Nixon, yet as a result he was labeled by some as a sellout to his race. His conversion to Judaism in 1954 after a serious car accident yoked his persona to another persecuted minority. Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard captures the nimble talent and high-wire-act tension that typified the performer’s life, utilizing electrifying performance excepts, never-before-seen photographs, and star-studded interviews including Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and Kim Novak.
Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
Running Time 100 minutes | Genre Documentary | Subject The Arts, American Jewish Life, African-American Life, Biographies, Family-Friendly | Directors Sam Pollard | Country USA | Year 2017 | Language English