Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

About The Film

A rousing tribute to the iconic song-and-dance man in all his complexities and contradictions, SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME remembers the chameleon entertainer who blazed a trail across the shifting tides and flashpoints of 20th century America.

Dazzling audiences since he was a child, Harlem-born Davis was a dancer, singer, vaudevillian, impressionist and actor of jaw-dropping artistry and unparalleled charisma. Entering showbiz at a time of racial tension and social upheaval, he found himself frequently courting controversy even while breaking barriers, caught between the bigotry of ‘50s and ‘60s white America, and an ambivalence about his own black identity. He performed alongside Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra as a member of the Rat Pack, and was the first African-American to sleep at the White House, invited by President Nixon, yet as a result he was labeled by some as a sellout to his race. His conversion to Judaism in 1954 after a serious car accident yoked his persona to another persecuted minority. Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard captures the nimble talent and high-wire-act tension that typified the performer’s life, utilizing electrifying performance excepts, never-before-seen photographs, and star-studded interviews including Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and Kim Novak.

A thrilling, enlightening and redemptive look at the lesser known aspects of his extraordinary life, SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME, finally restores the deserved respect that had eluded the entertainment legend for so long.


Gala for Sponsors and Members (Fan-level and above) at 5:00 PM • Film at 7:30 PM

SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I'VE GOTTA BE ME will be featured as the Opening Night event on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. A preshow reception, for sponsors and members (Fan-level and above) only, will feature a food tasting with some of Atlanta's finest chefs.

If you'd like information about becoming a sponsor or member, and attending the Opening Night Gala, please contact our Development Director, Lori Zelony.

Note: Free parking is provided compliments of AAA Parking.

Film Details

Running Time 
100 minutes
Southeast Premiere
The Coca-Cola Company