SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME | Presented by the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
Getting beyond his affiliation with the Rat Pack, director Samuel D. Pollard’s intimate portrait of Sammy Davis, Jr. paints a vivid picture of a child prodigy, world-class entertainer, and civil rights activist. Having achieved stardom during a period of American history fraught with racial barriers, the effervescent, tap-dancing icon, known for hits like “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” struggled against prejudice and frequently courted controversy. From appearing onstage with Frank Sinatra to befriending President Nixon despite the disapproval of his fan base, Sammy demonstrated that he was not afraid to go against the grain. In fact, one of his most memorable moves transpired off the dance floor when, while recovering from a serious car accident, he famously announced his decision to convert to Judaism.
A self-made success, it was Sammy Davis, Jr.’s extraordinary talent and resilience that propelled him to the top and established him as the musical legend we know today. Featuring fabulous interviews with Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Norman Lear, and a generous selection of archival clips highlighting Davis’ show-stopping performances, SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME is a masterful dedication to one of America’s most unforgettable stars.