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Soul Man (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 24 October 1986 (USA)
1:00 | Trailer

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To achieve his dream of attending Harvard, a pampered teen poses as a young black man to receive a full scholarship.






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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Walker
Gordon Bloomfeld
Professor Banks
Whitney Dunbar
Mr. Dunbar
Ann Walker ...
Mrs. Dunbar
Bill Watson (as James B. Sikking)
Dr. Aronson
Ray McGrady
Mrs. Dorothy Watson (as Marie Cheatham)
Barky Brewer (as Wally Ward)
Eric Schiff ...
Booey Fraser
Ron Reagan ...


Mark doesn't expect any problems in going to college: he and his friend have reserved places in Harvard and his parents have the money to pay for his education there. But suddenly his father's neurotic psychiatrist advises him to go on vacation in Hawaii instead of spending more money on his son. Since Mark wants to keep his lifestyle, including a fancy car and a flat shared with his friend, he seeks financial support. The only foundation which still accepts applications is for blacks only -- no problem, with lots of bronzing pills and "soul in his voice" he sets out to Harvard. Soon he has to realize that being black will cause some people to handle him differently. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He didn't give up. He got down. See more »


Comedy | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Imposter  »

Box Office


$27,820,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


C. Thomas Howell's father, Chris Howell, did the stunts for this movie. See more »


About fifteen minutes into the picture, Mark and Gordon are seen traveling up Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, adjacent to the Harvard campus, and suddenly, they're not on Mass. Ave. anymore, they're on Quincy St., a couple blocks away. Then, just as suddenly, they're right back on Mass Ave., again proceeding through Harvard Square, just as they were before. See more »


Professor Banks: Some of you may have had easy lives up until now. Some of you may not. Life this semester won't be *easy* for any of you. Your grades in your first year of law school can determine your entire future in the law.
See more »


Spoofed in Totally Awesome (2006) See more »


(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue
By Andy Razaf, Fats Waller (as Thomas Waller), Harry Brooks
Performed by Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

On the level of John Hughes comedies!
10 April 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I remember watching Soul Man about twelve years ago when it was first aired on TV. Crazy, hilarious, sarcastic, emotional; what the hell I could go on forever describing this film.

This is the only film besides "The Outsiders" that C. Thomas Howell played a dual role of himself and a black student impersona. Okay I can agree with some comments that movie began to over step it's bounderies with the way African American culture was dealt with, but at the smae time I felt that it was stabalized with the humour adding that extra touch rather than people taking it more "Politically correct" way.

James Earl Jones and Rae Dawn Chong both did fabulous jobs as there acting really help give their characters' some edge that made it somewhat convincing.

Overall a brilliant film. If you can try to avoid the fact that it might be cliched of dealing with racial differences in a light hearted manner. Remember this is a comedy and not something to take "SERIOUSLY".

Another quality film from the 80's to add to the hitlist.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
is it just me or did this ruin CTHowells career bensmybaby
Those two guys who keep telling the jokes mattscdl
this is a very funny movie cliff-89
iS THIS MOVIE WORTH BUYING! [ignore the typo error underneath this post XxWe_Are_MarshallxX
Good film about race and brotherhood of humans usc02134
is this a good movie?? hugznsmoochz111
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