Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me — Official Trailer


added: Wed, Dec 26th '18

The astonishing life and career of Rat Pack legend Sammy Davis, Jr. is the subject of a new PBS documentary, which is slated to debut in February.

Touted as the first major film documentary to examine the history of the legendary singer, tap dancer, vaudevillian performer, and actor, who is still considered as one of the, if not the most talented entertainer to have ever graced the stage or screen, "Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me" is a comprehensive and candid portrait of a trailblazing African-American Jewish artist who was born with incredible gifts, yet came of age in a tumultuous era when the country was deeply divided, both racially and politically.

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Samuel D. Pollard, whose credits include producing Spike Lee's "4 Little Girls" and directing "Marvin Gaye: What's Going On," the PBS documentary, which premiered to glowing reviews at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, will make its television debut on Tuesday, February 19, as part of PBS's ongoing "American Masters" series. Watch the PBS trailer, above.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR: I'VE GOTTA BE ME is the first major film documentary to examine Davis' vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America.

Sammy Davis, Jr. had the kind of career that was indisputably legendary, so vast and multi-faceted that it was dizzying in its scope and scale. And yet, his life was complex, complicated and contradictory. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. He was the veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions trying to stay relevant; he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America; he was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to another persecuted minority.

Featuring new interviews with such luminaries as Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, with never-before-seen photographs from Davis' vast personal collection and excerpts from his electric performances in television, film and concert, SAMMY DAVIS, JR: I'VE GOTTA BE ME explores the life and art of a uniquely gifted entertainer whose trajectory blazed across the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression through the 1980s.


directed by   Samuel D. Pollard

release date   February 19, 2019 (on PBS)

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