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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

'Howard E Rollins''s Captain Davenport was, according to 'Time Out', a "[Sidney] Poitier-style" character. The film's director Norman Jewison had directed Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night (1967). 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

Captain Davenport: Lets go see Sgt. Washington, drive.
Corporal Ellis: Didn't go to well in there sir?
Captain Davenport: You gotta hearing problem colonel?
Corporal Ellis: No sir, I was born with big ears sir, my grandma had big ears, it runs in the family.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

C.J.'s Lament
Written and Performed by Larry Riley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating mystery with a great script and a fine ensemble cast make this a must-see
23 November 2001 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film, at it's heart a case study in human psychology, but also a mystery and an intriguing one at that. The cast, mostly unknowns at the time, is fantastic and contains many now-familiar faces, most notably Denzel Washington and David Alan Grier. Adolph Caesar was nominated for an Oscar and Howard Rollins, Jr. probably should have been. Another highlight (at least for me) are the songs sung by Larry Riley and Patte LaBelle. This is a gem of a film, one that is most highly recommended.


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