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  1. John Salinsky
  1. Correspondence to Mr John Salinsky, 32 Wentworth Hill Wembley Middx HA9 9SG, UK; jvsalinsky{at}

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You Don't Know Jack. Directed by Levinson Barry, USA, HBO Home Video, 2010.

You Don't Know Jack is the true-life story of Dr Jack Kevorkian, whom you may remember was, in the 1990s, an advocate and practitioner of assisted suicide for patients with intractable pain or paralysis who wanted to be helped to die with dignity. In the film, when we first meet Jack, he is a 61-year-old retired pathologist who is just starting on his euthanasia mission in a small town in Michigan. Jack is wonderfully brought to life by Al Pacino, of whom more later. His team includes his friend Neal, a medical technician who is able to supply him with the necessary drugs and equipment, and his widowed sister Margo. Neal is played by John Goodman, a tall, bulky man with immense presence and dignity. Margo is sympathetically played by Brenda Vaccaro. They are later joined by Janet Good, the president of the Hemlock Society (which needs no explanation). Janet is nicely played by Susan Sarandon, whom I remember as one of Jack Nicholson's trio of Witches of Eastwick. I think she was the one who played the cello. You will see that we have an impressively starry group of lead players here, even …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.