A Soldier's Story (1984)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  2 November 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 6,291 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 23 critic

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



(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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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


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


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.


Crime | Drama | Mystery | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La historia de un soldado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$22,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of two 1984 pictures featuring actor David Harris of which both films were military movies, the other being _Purple Hearts_. See more »


After Sgt. Waters is shot, we hear the sound of the Army 45 being cocked for the next shot. A semi-automatic pistol cocks itself when the slide comes back after shooting the round in the chamber. See more »


Private Wilkie: Is it true, sir, that when they found him, his stripes and insignia were still on the uniform?
Captain Davenport: Yes.
Private Wilkie: Something's wrong, ain't it, sir? I mean, those Klan boys, they can't stand to see us in these uniforms. They usually take the stripes and stuff off before they lynch us.
See more »


Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)
Written by Leroy Brown, Charlie Tobias and Sam H. Stept
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

One of the Best of All Time
12 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can't even say this movie is underappreciated and overlooked b/c it did get a nomination for Best Picture...but I'll say it is anyway! :) This movie is not just a great "black" film, it's a great film, period. Howard Rollins shows the great actor he once was (and makes you saddened by how his later career after "Heat of the Night" turned out) and you cannot beat the who's who of the rest of the cast: Robert Townsend, Denzel, Adolph Caesar... I'm glad I found out it's on DVD with commentary by Mr. Jewison cause it deserves the format (although more goodies would've been great). If you haven't seen it, you must. For excellent acting and story it rarely gets better than this one...

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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