A look at the life and work of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Linda
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Brian Russell
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Female Reporter
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David Rivlin
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Vendor
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Henny Russell ...
Oakhill Spokesperson
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Oakhill Doctor
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Janet Adkins
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Rod Adkins
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Storyline

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? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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This woman wants to die on her own terms. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

24 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Jack Kevorkian Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Kopple was previously attached as director. See more »

Goofs

The Faygo bottle Jack is seen opening for Janet Good is a retro-style that wasn't put out by the company until 2007. See more »

Quotes

Jack Kevorkian: It's emotionalism. You know, when heart transplants first started... there was the same prevalent feeling, I mean, even among doctors... that it was wrong, it was contrary to God's will, contrary to nature. Isn't it ghoulish to rip a person's chest open and take out a heart? Or a bypass operation? Ether is the same thing. You have ether, been around for centuries, it wasn't used. Not till 1846. It was discovered in 1543... and before that, everybody was being operated on while they were awake. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Biography: Al Pacino: Inside Out (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Easy Glistening
Written and Performed by Will Tura & Dirk Blancke
Courtesy of Focus Music / 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
You Don't Know Jack Shows A Way Out ****
24 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Al Pacino gives an absolutely superb, riveting performance in this 2010 HBO production of the biography of Jack Kevorkian.

While the subject matter is difficult to swallow, especially when the assisted suicides begin, the film is done is an exceptionally intelligent matter that focuses on what Kevorkian is attempting to do in his role as an angel of mercy to assist those suffering with terminal illnesses.

The first person who Kevorkian helped was an Alzheimer's patient. It was difficult to understand why he was doing this since the lady knew that the gardener would be there on Thursday to plant. As the other suicides progressed, you realized the situations that people truly face at the end of their horrible existences.

The film depicted what the far right would do in any effort to get after the good doctor. It also brought out that even with such a terrible ethical question pending, politics is never set far apart in the appearance of Michigan Gov. John Engler.

Susan Sarandon is excellent in the role of Pacino's aide who falls victim to a terminal illness. Brenda Vaccaro is equally good as Pacino's sister, a woman who believed in what he was doing but didn't have the sense to call a doctor when she was suffering a heart attack.

Naturally, the film is all Pacino's. He takes you down the road of justification to show you that he is on a mission. It's a great performance that probably will be rewarded at Emmy Time. Ms. Sarandon and Ms. Vaccaro may also warrant supporting nominations as well.


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