Carbon Copy (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  25 September 1981 (USA)
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A white corporate executive is surprised to discover that he has a black teen-age son who can't wait to be adopted into the, almost-exclusively-white community of, San Marino, California.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivian Whitney
Nelson Longhurst
Victor Bard
Bob Garvey
Tubby Wederholt
Vicky Dawson ...
Mary Ann
Dr. Bristol
Vernon Weddle ...
Edward Marshall ...
Ed Call ...
Basketball Father
Angelina Estrada ...
Carmen Filpi ...
2nd Guard


A white corporate executive is surprised to discover that he has a black teen-age son who can't wait to be adopted into the, almost-exclusively-white community of, San Marino, California. Written by K. Rose <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


" I lost my job, my house and my Rolls Royce; My family left me...What else can possibly go wrong?" "Hi, Dad!" See more »




PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cara do Pai  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real-life address where the Whitney family house was located was at 417 Amapola Ln, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. See more »


When Walter and Roger move into the run-down apartment in Watts, very low flying jets can be heard overhead. The nearest airport in the area would be LAX which is approx. 13 miles due west. LAX is too far away for such low flying aircraft. See more »


Walter Whitney: How much did you pay for this car?
Roger Porter: 14 dollars and a record player.
Walter Whitney: You were robbed!
See more »


Referenced in The New York Ripper (1982) See more »


Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
Written by Jimmy Cox
Performed by Bessie Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

Very funny and politically incorrect, with lessons
1 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Walter Whitney has a mansion in San Marino and a great job that comes with a Rolls Royce and numerous credit cards. Hisd life isn't quite perfect, since his uptight wife Vivian won't let him touch her or even let him see her without her clothes on. And her daughter Mary Ann won't accept Walter as her father, even though he adopted her when he married her mother. Mary Ann considers herself to be engaged to her boyfriend, but apparently this isn't important enough to tell Walter.

Nelson, Vivian's father and Walter's boss, has a talk with Walter because he is concerned that his daughter isn't happy. But this is the least of Walter's problems. It seems that when he was in college at Northwestern, Walter lived with a black woman. And that woman's son Roger is here to see him. His mother is now deceased, and Roger feels the need to find his father. Guess who it is!

The opening credits said "Introducing Denzel Washington". This respected and usually serious actor comes across more like Will Smith in TV's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"--appealing, smart-alecky, intelligent though apparently not book-smart (and we know Smith progressed from that image to a career similar to Washington's, though in less serious roles). Washington does show potential here, though it's not immediately obvious he will someday win an Oscar. He does comedy well, but he also has at least one fine dramatic scene.

But this is not "Fresh Prince". On that show, only Carlton and Hilary thought they were better than everyone else. Their parents never forgot where they came from. In this movie, Vivian, Mary Ann, Nelson, and even the family doctor and pastor think blacks are inferior, and that Walter has done something unthinkable. And wait until you find out the hilarious consequences!

Most of the leading actors here give good performances. Dick Martin is funny as Walter's pot-smoking best friend and lawyer, and Paul Winfield does a good job as another lawyer.

One of the many highlights: Roger's '59 Chevy, which makes Al Bundy's Dodge Dart look like a BMW. The only movie car more pathetic that I can remember was one of the cop cars in "Smokey and the Bandit", but that was only after numerous wrecks.

And you have to see how Walter and Vivian solved their difficulties in the bedroom!

Eventually, lessons about prejudice are learned, but not by all. Those who don't think there should be racial prejudice should keep in mind what was said about Archie Bunker. We learn prejudice is wrong by making fun of it.

The ending was not neat and tidy, but it showed promise.

This was very good.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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