7.2/10
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47 user 26 critic

A Soldier's Story (1984)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Corporal Cobb
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Private Smalls
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Private Henson
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Big Mary
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Lieutenant Byrd
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Captain Wilcox
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Sergeant Washington
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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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$156,383, 16 September 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,821,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Tynin, Louisiana exterior sequences were shot in three days in Clarendon, Arkansas. See more »

Goofs

While Wilkie is being questioned by Capt Davenport about the murder of Sgt Waters, he tells the captain that Waters received awards called the FEF and the ETO. There is no award with the abbreviation FEF, and ETO stands for European Theater of Operations, which is a geographical area, not an award. See more »

Quotes

Master Sergeant Vernon Waters: We're men. Soldiers. And I don't intend for our race to be cheated of its place of honor and respect in this war because of fools like C.J.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Breakthrough Stars of 1990 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bright Red Zoot Suit
Written and Performed by Larry Riley
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User Reviews

Near Perfect Film-Making. Not Enough Good Things Can Be Said.
6 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Canadian director Norman Jewison once took a tour of the U.S. south in the mid-1940s following his high school graduation and was shocked to see the way that black people were treated by white people. Jewison's intense hitch-hiking journey led to a career which includes credits like "In the Heat of the Night" and "The Hurricane". However his best film is probably "A Soldier's Story", an intense character-study that deals with African-American soldiers in Louisiana during World War II. Master Sergeant Adolph Caesar (Oscar-nominated) has been murdered. Enter investigator Howard E. Rollins (also African-American) who tries to figure out the case. What follows are intense flashbacks and the realization that Caesar was despised not only by white people (the primary suspects at the start) but also his own men (all African-American). The mystery twists and turns into chaos and in the end it is not a sure thing if the crime will ever be solved. A really chilling film that is top-notch in all cinematic departments. Robert Townsend, Larry Riley, David Allen Grier and yes the Denzel Washington are the soldiers that make the most lasting impressions in this brilliant piece of the cinema. Without a doubt one of the finest productions of the 1980s. 5 stars out of 5.


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