7.2/10
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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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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
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Sergeant Waters
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Private Wilkie
...
Corporal Cobb
...
Private Smalls
...
Captain Taylor
Larry Riley ...
C.J. Memphis
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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

The picture featured a considerable amount of filming at night time. See more »

Goofs

When the three black sergeants and Pvt Wilkie are seated in the bar, Pvt Wilkie has his unit patch sewn on his right shoulder. We later see Pvt Wilkie with his unit patch on his left shoulder. See more »

Quotes

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 »


Soundtracks

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

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.


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