You Don't Know Jack

Synopsis: Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 - 2011 ) in the 1990s, when he defies Michigan law assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. Support comes from his sister, a lab tech, the Hemlock Society president, and a lawyer. The child of survivors of the Armenian genocide interviews applicants: his sister video tapes them. He assembles a device allowing a person to initiate a three-chemical intravenous drip. The local D.A., the governor, and the Legislature respond. In court scenes, Kevorkian is sometimes antic. He's single-minded about giving dying individuals the right to determine how their lives will end. He wants the Supreme Court to rule. He picks a fight he can't win: is it hubris or heroism?
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Barry Levinson
Production: HBO Films
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 36 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
134 min

You Don't Know Jack

You know, she

had that same look

Of agony on her face,

Just like mother.

The same one mother

had, you know?

- Woman:

- Man:
You bore witness to it.


Awful waiting.

She was

struggling to die.

Yeah, well, it's not

living, you know.

- Woman:

- t's not being alive.

You know, they started doing

this in europe already,

But not here.

- Really?

- Yeah.

- Holland.

- Holland.

Never here.

Way too puritanical here.

I don't know why I didn't

think of this sooner.

I was limiting myself.

It'll be your own field

of specialty, jack.

You're gonna need some

business cards, you know?

We'll be swinging

singles again,

Just like when

we were in our prime.

Remember those two

nurses we were dating?

Two nurses?

Oh, that was me, not you.

Scratch that.

You know, you could

grab a box, jack.

- t wouldn't hurt you.

- Well, I'll get the door

Then I'll-

I'll come back out.

Yeah, the best thing about

living in my storage room...

( sniffs )

ain't bad...

It's a short commute.

( sniffs )

ain't bad.

- ( engine stops ) -

( car door opens )

You left

your varsity jacket,

Your grandmother's afghan and

your nose hair clippers.

That's the last time I'm cleaning

up after you, neal nicol.

Hi, jack.

- remember her being much

happier at your wedding.


- Ante up.

- Yes, dear.

- ( coins rattle )

- 'm in.

Oh, by the way,

neal, mazel tov.

You're gonna bean ex here soon.

How's it feel?

Like losing 138 lbs

without having to diet.

( guys laugh )

Obitiatry, stan.

The doctoring of death.


in suicide clinics?

Really? 'm a doctor.

You want me exiled to boca raton?

Come on. Come on.

Planned death is gaining acceptance

All over the world.

Why not here?

Can we, for christ's sakes,

just play cards, please?

Because you can't put those

decisions in the hands of patients.

Well, whose hands are

we gonna put'em in?

Doctoring's a healing profession.

I can't even...


a death profession too.

Medicine, medicide.

- Cards, stan?

- Uh, three.

That's 10 in a row.

That's 10 in a row he folds.

You know you're allowed

to bluff once in a while.

- don't bluff.

- The guy is a study in pure non-fiction.

- Let him alone.

- Yeah.

You know I love you, jack, but most of

your colleagues think you're a nut.

Remember they used to call you

the "screwball pathologist"?

Would you save me the schpilkes and

stay retired for crying out loud?

I'm not retired.

Retired means one is

no longer occupied

With one's profession.

I may be unemployed,

but I am occupied.

- Stan:

- King high. It's yours.

- And it's your deal.

- know it.

- What?

- My- My hands are grea.

- With what?

- have pizza fingers.

- Pizza fingers?

- You ever hear of them?

Woman on tv:
At the oak hill

care center in farmington hills

Where david rivlin, a

38-year old quadriplegic

Who's been confined

here for three years,

Has asked to be taken

off of life support.

The michigan courts have

yet to make a decision.

Mr. Vlin, who sustained

a spinal cord injury

During a body-surfing accident

almost 20 years ago,

Tried desperately

to live on his own

Until the cost of live-in aides

became too much for him.

The state would only

offer rivlin...

- ( cartoon music playing

) - ( screeches )

( phone ringing )

- Yeah?

- Woman:
Turn on channel 7.

No, I'm-

I'm watching sylvester.

- Hurry up. - t's the one

where he chases the frog.

- Do it now.

- Why?

You see this man?

He's being kept alive against his wishes.

Oh, yeah.

Oh, margo.

- Margo.

- Yeah?

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Adam Mazer

Adam Mazer is an American screenwriter. He is the writer of HBO Film’s biopic, You Don't Know Jack, about the life of assisted-suicide advocate, Jack Kevorkian.Mazer was the co-writer of the 2007 Universal Pictures feature film, Breach, starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney. Directed by Billy Ray, Breach is based on the true story of the FBI’s most notorious spy, Robert Hanssen. Adam and his former partner, Bill Rotko, optioned the rights of the young FBI aide who worked side-by-side with Robert Hanssen and played a vital role in his arrest. The movie was released in February, 2007. He’s recently finished the screenplay, The Sentry Keep; based on the true story of a 1982 New York City armored car company heist, that at the time, was the largest cash heist in U.S. history. Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fighting) is attached to direct. The movie is being produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films. He’s also currently working on a one-hour TV pilot, Contingency, with the television production company, Reveille (The Office, Ugly Betty). Contingency is set in the early 1980s and explores the wild early days of a Personal Injury law firm. Additionally, he wrote the one-hour TV pilot, Ghosts, for the CW Network. The drama deals with the personal and professional lives of young undercover FBI Agents who work in an elite unit called the “Special Surveillances Group”. Prior, Adam sold the family comedy, Big Baby, (co-written with Gregg Lichtenstein) to Warner Brothers with Neal Moritz and Richard Suckle producing, and Raja Gosnell attached to direct. Adam was a founding partner of Point Blank Entertainment where he was an Associate Producer on the outrageous ensemble comedy, Super Troopers. The film was sold at the Sundance Film Festival and released in 2002 by Fox Searchlight. Adam’s other efforts include his screenplay, The Amateur which was set up with the Kennedy-Marshall Company. Based on true events, The Amateur tells the story of 19-year-old golfer Francis Ouimet’s remarkable underdog victory at the 1913 U.S. Open. He also wrote the police corruption drama, Officer Down, the comic book fantasy adventure, The Last Ride of Waterloo Clyde, and Shelter From the Storm – an adaptation of Stephen Miller’s southern mystery novel, A Woman in the Yard. Upon graduating from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1989, Adam moved to Los Angeles and partnered with Bill Rotko (A&E’s recent The Beast) until 2005. They sold their first screenplay, Freeze – a harrowing Antarctic action-adventure – to Columbia Pictures and Mandalay Pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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