at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Saint Jack

Saint Jack
(1979, 112 minutes)
Wednesday, November 3
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium

Based on the 1973 novel by Paul Theroux, Saint Jack tells the life of Jack Flowers (Ben Gazarra), a pimp in Singapore. Feeling hopeless and undervalued, Jack tries to make money by setting up his own bordello, and clashes with Chinese triad members in the process.

Saint Jack was shot entirely on location Singapore and it is the only Hollywood film to have been shot on location in the Lion City. The local authorities knew about the book, hence the foreign production crew did not tell them that they were adapting it, fearing that they would not be permitted to shoot the film. Instead, they created a fake synopsis for a film called “Jack Of Hearts”, and most of the Singaporeans involved in the production believed this was what they were making.

The film was banned in Singapore and Malaysia on 17 January 1980. Singapore banned it “largely due to concerns that there would be excessive edits required to the scenes of nudity and some coarse language before it could be shown to a general audience,” and lifted the ban only in March 2006, when the film was screened as part of the Singapore International Film Festival.

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IMDB WebsiteRotten Tomatoes ReviewOriginal Movie Poster