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A Soldier's Story (1984)

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

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Writers:

(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:
...
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
...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Alan Grier, who plays Cpl. Cobb in the film, replaced Larry Riley in the role of C.J. Memphis in the original production of "A Soldier's Play." See more »

Goofs

When Davenport is interviewing Wilkie, the Captain's sunglasses start out on the desk, next to the books. In subsequent shots they are on the top of the hat where they stay until the final shot as Wilkie is leaving the room, when they disappear. See more »

Quotes

Master Sergeant Vernon Waters: Them Nazis ain't all crazy. Whole lot of people just can't seem to fit in to where things seem to be going. Like you, CJ. See, the Black race can't afford you no more. There used to be a time, we'd see someone like you singin', clownin', yassuh-bossin'... and we wouldn't do anything. Folks liked that. You were good. Homey kind of nigger. When they needed somebody to mistreat, call a name or two, they paraded you. Reminded them of the good old days. Not no more. The day of the Geechee is gone, ...
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Pourin' Whiskey Blues
Written by Patti LaBelle, James R. Ellison (as James Ellison) and Armistead Edwards
Performed by Patti LaBelle
See more »

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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...


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