IMDb > The Education of Sonny Carson (1974)
The Education of Sonny Carson
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The Education of Sonny Carson (1974) More at IMDbPro »


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Sonny Carson (autobiography)
Fred Hudson
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You learn a lot in the streets.
A gifted young man is caught up in gang life. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Brilliant portrayal of hard ghetto life...... See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Rony Clanton ... Sonny Carson

Don Gordon ... Pigliani
Joyce Walker ... Virginia
Paul Benjamin ... Pops
Thomas Hicks ... Young Sonny

Mary Alice ... Moms
Ram John Holder ... Preacher
Jerry Bell ... Lil Boy
Ray Rainbow Johnson ... Benny
Derrick Champ Ford ... Wolfe
Roger Hill ... Lil John
Chris Forster ... Donovan
George Miles ... Uncle Cal

B.T. Taylor ... Crazy
Roger D.A. Davis ... Willie
Eleanora Douglas ... Sally Jean
Clifton Steere ... Psychiatrist

Dennis Kear ... Western Union Messenger

Linda Hopkins ... Lil Boy's mother
Mervyn Nelson ... Parole Board chairman
Prince Olafami ... Supermarket Kid
Ronnie Cole ... Supermarket Kid
Steve Sellers ... Supermarket Kid
David Kernan ... Judge
Ellerine Harding ... Funeral Singer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jesse Bolero ... Cousin Red (as Jess Bolero)

Roger Davis ... Willie
Hector Freeman ... Gang Member
George Lee Miles ... Uncle Cal
Dwight Mohobiair ... Street gang member
Todd Everett ... Cop (uncredited)

Steve James ... (uncredited)
Frazier Prince ... Horn Boy-Bushwick Warriors Band (uncredited)

Jay Rasumny ... Mounted Police Officer (uncredited)
Lee Steele ... Subway Conductor (uncredited)

Joe Taylor ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Campus 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Sonny Carson  autobiography
Fred Hudson 

Produced by
David Golden .... associate producer
Irwin Yablans .... producer
Original Music by
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson 
Cinematography by
Edward R. Brown  (as Ed Brown)
Film Editing by
Moe Howard  (as Harry Howard)
Edward Warschilka 
Art Direction by
Emanuel Gerard  (as Manny Gerard)
Set Decoration by
Robert Drumheller 
Costume Design by
Gene Coffin 
Gregory Lecakin 
Makeup Department
Max Henriquez .... makeup artist
Production Management
Burt Bluestein .... unit manager (as Bert Bluestein)
David Golden .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Steve Barnett .... first assistant director (as Stephen Barnett)
Frank Simpson .... second assistant director
Art Department
Jack Wright Jr. .... property master
Robert Hart .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Lee Bost .... sound mixer (as G. Lee Bost)
Franklin Scott .... stunt coordinator
Steve James .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lew Barrett .... still photographer
Peter Garbarini .... camera operator
Kenneth Goss .... key grip (as Kenny Goss)
LeRoy Patton .... second assistant camera
Frank Schulz .... gaffer (as Frank O. Schultz)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jennifer L. Bryan .... wardrobe (as Jennifer Bryan)
Editorial Department
Diane Adler .... assistant editor
Music Department
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson .... conductor
Leon Ware .... vocals
Michael Arciaga .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Other crew
Grace Blake .... production office coordinator
Sonny Carson .... technical advisor
Thomas De Wolfe .... auditor (as Tom De Wolfe)
Maggie James .... script supervisor
Van Kirksey .... assistant to producer
Hector Freeman .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Favorite film of producer-director George Jackson.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Brooklyn Boheme (2011)See more »


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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant portrayal of hard ghetto life......, 19 September 2004
Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina

This is one film that needs to be seen,because if you don't stand up and cheer here,you ain't got nothing to cheer about.........

"The Education Of Sonny Carson" is such a moving film that brilliantly portrays the struggles and survival of ghetto life in 1950's Brooklyn,based on the best-selling autobiography by Sonny Carson,this is one of those films that is rarely forgotten,but it is still a visually stunning piece of film-making from the golden age of 1970's Black Cinema,directed by Micheal Campus. Produced by Irwin Yablans and released thru Paramount Pictures in 1974,this film hasn't been seen in decades,until now with the magic of video and DVD,the film has been restored to its glory and its a tale worth telling about one man's quest to survive in an ghetto infested area and eventually comes out a winner. But still this is a gangster's tale here with some hard edged hitting drama to boot with a performance that is played with absolute conviction by Rony Clanton. Clanton portrays Sonny Carson,a street-smart,bright,highly intelligent young man who gets sucked into gang turf warfare that ends up getting him arrested and eventually ends up in the slammer.

There are some excellent supporting performances here including Joyce Walker who plays Sonny's girlfriend Virginia,whose addiction to heroin and other drugs turns his life around. Also look out for others including Paul Benjamin and Mary Alice,who plays Sonny's parents,and B.T. Taylor as one of the fellow gang members of "The Lords",Crazy. Filmed on location in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn,with additional footage is excellent,especially the battle scenes between the Lords and the Hawks anticipates some of the most violent footage ever depicted on film(the similar scenes would be depicted in Walter Hill's urban drama,"The Warriors"[1979]),and its still shocking to see some 30 years after this film's release. This film was released in 1974. "The Education Of Sonny Carson",also goes through an realistic approach to the similar tales of crime and redemption as we take a look at the harsh realities of life and survival in the streets of Brooklyn. We also see how a young man,who has a bright future ahead of him,get sucked into a life of crime and poverty and goes through a redemption of himself and changes his ways. If you look at it,it does bear a verite approach to several Black films of the 1970's,but it is infinitely superior. This is worth seeing at its finest and it is a classic within itself. However,the original Sonny Carson is no longer with us. He passed away as of last year. His story is an monument for all to witness because it is visually stunning because its drips the true with such strong emotion that it can convey so much towards you.

R.I.P Sonny Carson-We Miss You.

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