5.1/10
6,248
28 user 14 critic

Soul Man (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 24 October 1986 (USA)
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

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Imposter  »

Box Office

Gross:

$27,820,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Robbins was cast in the lead but dropped out when the filming of "Howard The Duck" went over schedule. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mark Watson: She told me they have support for people whose parents are poor, but not for those whose parents are assholes.
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Gross Out (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Bang Bang Bang (Who's on the Phone)
By Angelo La Bionda (as A. La Bionda), Rocco Tanica (as S. Conforti), Enrico Pannuto (as E. Pannuto),
Richard Palmer-James (as R.P. James)
Performed by Ricky
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc. & Creamus SRL
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User Reviews

" I exceeded the recommended dosage."
24 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

Pills that can tan your entire body?! Huh. ;)

C.Thomas Howell is so good in his role. His charm is so intoxicating and you always wanna laugh at him. He looks like a cuter version of steve-o from jackass, with discolored skin and a black curly 'fro! He looks so obviously NOT black.

The best part of this film is the editing style. I recently discovered the importance of editing; it's good that this one was edited at a very quick and entertaining pace, otherwise it would've seemed outdated by today.

I actually think a film like this would make it today, since there's a heavy backlash from the '90's 'political correctness' theme. There are some heavy themes here, (although it's a comedy) but C.Thomas Howell keeps you wanting more. Supporting roles from James Earl Jones, the character Sarah, and her son are all great, but C.Thomas Howell keeps this film timeless; he is perfect.


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