Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Kingston ...
Mrs. Yates
Monika Subramaniam ...
Judy Lim ...
Eddie Schuman
Joseph Noël ...
Kian Bee Ong ...
Yan Meng Tan ...
Little Hing
Andrew Chua ...


Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a fortune by running a brothel himself and returning to the States to lead a life of luxury. Savvy but not unsavory he strikes up a friendship with William Leigh (Denholm Elliot), a genial and decent auditor who travels to Singapore every year. Ultimately, the background of the Vietnam War comes into the picture as Jack is offered the opportunity by the CIA to run a brothel for the R&R activities of U.S. soldiers on leave in Singapore. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"People make love for so many crazy reasons-- why shouldn't money be one of them?" - The Gospel According To Saint Jack




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 December 1979 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Jack el magnífico  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Knowing full well that the Singaporean authorities would never sanction a film that depicted their city as being a hotbed of corruption and sleaze, the script that Peter Bogdanovich submitted to them had been specially rewritten with all the contentious elements removed. Approval was granted. However, when the film was completed, the Singaporean authorities were horrified to see the true nature of the film and subsequently banned it. See more »


Jack Flowers: Now, the Chinese, they go for Australian girls, y'know, big-boned. The Germans usually go for Tamils. The British don't give a damn as long as they're young and boyish, isn't that right, Colonel?
Col. Gunstone: Indubitably.
Jack Flowers: Well the Americans, they do a lot of hugging-up in taxis, y'know. When they go home they write letters. Girls are always after me to help them answer 'em.
See more »

Crazy Credits

We thank the people of the Republic of Singapore, on whose island this picture was filmed. See more »


Referenced in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »


I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll
Written by Clarence Williams and Spencer Williams
Sung by Louis Armstrong
See more »

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User Reviews

a good Bogdanovich film
16 August 2000 | by (Panama City,Panama) – See all my reviews

an interesting story that probably worked better in print than film.I did not read the novel.Good Singapore location shots. There's probably more depth to the character Jack Flowers than most Gazzara roles as we watch him roam the underbelly of Singapore soliciting women, and in one scene,a pair of transsexuals.Technically, it's well done with slightly above average acting and direction.Good performances by some unknown actors. Still, one walks away wishing there was a little more substance to the main character and the film overall.All 'n all, it is worth seeing although it lacks in certain areas.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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