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A Soldier's Story (1984)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  2 November 1984 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,805 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 18 critic

An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

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(screenplay), (play)
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Title: A Soldier's Story (1984)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain Davenport
...
Sergeant Waters
...
Private Wilkie
...
Corporal Cobb
...
Private Smalls
...
Captain Taylor
Larry Riley ...
C.J. Memphis
...
Corporal Ellis
...
...
Private Henson
...
Big Mary
...
Lieutenant Byrd
...
Captain Wilcox
John Hancock ...
Sergeant Washington
...
Colonel Nivens
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Storyline

A black soldier is killed while returning to his base in the deep south. The white people of the area are suspected at first. A tough black army attorney is brought in to find out the truth. We find out a bit more about the dead soldier in flashbacks - and that he was unpopular. Will the attorney find the killer ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alone, far from home, and far from justice, he has three days to learn the truth about a murder...and the truth is a story you won't forget.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La historia de un soldado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though Denzel Washington was not Oscar nominated for this film - and had never been - had prior to this movie been mostly known at the time for co-starring with George Segal in the racial comedy Carbon Copy (1981). However, Washington would go on to get Oscar nominated six times [as at May 2013], winning two Academy Awards, and in total has received more Oscar noms than what this film received, which was three. See more »

Goofs

In some of the scenes, characters are being driven around the base or the town. The stop signs are red, but before the late 1950's, stop signs were all yellow. See more »

Quotes

C.J. Memphis: Any man ain't sure where he belong, gotta' be in a whole lotta pain.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Norman Jewison (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

C.J.'s Lament
Written and Performed by Larry Riley
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User Reviews

A Enthralling film about racism in the military
5 September 2004 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Commerating the 20th Anniversary of a brilliant classic!

This was one of the most powerful films that came out in 1984. Director Norman Jewison(In The Heat Of The Night)adaptation of the Puliitzer Prize-winning play(by Charles Fuller) and numerous NAACP awards for best achievement in African-American literature,tells about the ramificiations of racism and loyalty through the prism of blacks in the military,revealed through a mystery set in the 1940's deep South. Howard E. Rollins(Ragtime,and from the TV series In The Heat Of The Night)plays a military investigator,Captain Davenport,who is assigned to the murder of a drill instructor,Sergeant Waters,played by Adolph Caesar(The Color Purple),who was in charge of a black platoon during World War II. Under pressure from his superiors to wrap his investigation up quickly,Rollins instead delves deeply into the relationships between the despised drill instructor and his men,uncovering lies and animousity,and confronting the question of what it means to be black in a white man's world. Rollins delivers a riveting,stoic,emotional lead into the role of Captain Davenport while Caesar gives an electrifying performance as the Sergeant. A lot of fresh faces gives brilliant performances throughout the film including one from a youthful Denzel Washington,who makes an early appearance as a soldier with a deep grudge against the drill instructor and a deep mistrust of Rollins' investigator. Look for appearances by Larry Riley, David Alan Grier,Robert Townsend,and Patti LaBelle. A powerfully written story that makes the most of its large and impressive ensemble cast which still is enthralling--some 20th after its release.

MPAA Rating: PG-For Language,Racial Overtones and Comment,Violence.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Adolf Caesar's character had some serious insecurity issues jimmy82022000
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