Saint Jack (1979)

R  |   |  Drama  |  5 December 1979 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 879 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 19 critic

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 »
0Check in
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nickelodeon (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This homage to the childhood days of the motion pictures starts in 1910, when the young attorney Leo Harrigan by chance meets a motion picture producer. Immediately he's invited to become a... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O'Neal
Daisy Miller (1974)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In this comedy of manners, Frederick Winterbourne tries to figure out the bright and bubbly Daisy Miller, only to be helped and hindered by false judgments from their fellow friends.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Barry Brown, Cloris Leachman
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mad cap private-eye caper about a team of detectives who are following, and are being followed by, a group of beautiful women.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, Patti Hansen
Texasville (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Summer, 1984: 30 years after Duane captained the high school football team and Jacy was homecoming queen, this Texas town near Wichita Falls prepares for its centennial. Oil prices are down... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

Called up for jury duty, Richard Dice finds his first crush and only real, but unrequited love, on trial for murder. Richard desperately tries to prove Mollys innocence while untangling a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Rob Lowe, Colleen Camp, Kenneth Mars
Targets (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An elderly horror-film star, while making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, confronts a psychotic Viet Nam War veteran who's turned into a mass-murdering sniper.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Boris Karloff, Tim O'Kelly, Arthur Peterson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid over-night bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ron Blair, Peter Bogdanovich, Mike Campbell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes, Edward Herrmann
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.6/10 X  

Astronauts landing on Venus encounter dangerous creatures and almost meet some sexy Venusian women who like to sun-bathe in hip-hugging skin-tight pants and seashell brassieres.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Mamie Van Doren, Mary Marr, Paige Lee
Noises Off... (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A travelling theater group find so much action going on behind-the-scenes, they almost ruin the performances.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott


Cast overview, first billed only:
James Villiers ...
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 »


Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
Written by Kris Kristofferson
Sung by Johnny Cash
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ben Does Bogey
12 April 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Saint Jack is a film short on plot, but long on character study, at least for the title character Jack Flowers, patron saint of the working girl in Singapore. Ben Gazzara plays the title role and if you can imagine Humphrey Bogart at his most existential running a brothel, than you've got Gazzara's character.

And that's what Jack Flowers does, he served in Korea went to college on the GI bill and tried a hand at writing. He gave that up because he hadn't experienced enough of life in his own words, shipped out on a tramp freighter and wound up in Singapore managing a brothel. If he wanted to know about life, that's as good a place as any to get material for twenty books. And he's originally from Buffalo, New York, probably on the west side, unanglicized name Jack Fiore.

Gazzara's co-star is the city of Singapore in all its aspects, both the high and low end of it. Gazzara's got friends in high and low places, his most unusual friend is Denholm Elliott who is an accountant and sent by the front office in Hong Kong to do a yearly audit. They hit it off believe it or not, Elliott becomes kind of a role model of probity for Gazzara.

Humphrey Bogart, starting in Casablanca did a lot of his films in exotic locations. But mostly he never got there, his films mostly done on studio back lots, The African Queen a shining exception. I'm sure Bogey would have jumped at the chance to do a location film in Singapore which in his day was involved in a nasty civil war after World War II.

There's not much of a story line, in fact Gazzara's not a terribly heroic character until the end when he does have an attack of conscience. For what that is you'll have to see Saint Jack.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Most underrated movie...ST. JACK res1mw6x
Brouhaha in the brothel jusdepawpaw
Bogdanovich video interview where he talks at length about Saint Jack pm85
Where can I see it??? belialprod
George Lazenby Scheduled to Appear at Maryland Nostalgia Convention pickitwilly
Discuss Saint Jack (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: