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Soul Man (1986)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  24 October 1986 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 5,306 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 13 critic

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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Title: Soul Man (1986)

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Cast

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
Jeff Altman ...
Ray McGrady
...
...
Mrs. Dorothy Watson (as Marie Cheatham)
...
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:

A comedy with heart and soul. 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

C. Thomas Howell had to wear colored contacts when his skin was toned to look black. His eyes are normally a goldish color and really stood out once his skin was darkened. 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

Professor Banks: I understand you are allowed one phone call from jail?
Mark Watson: Yes.
Professor Banks: Next time you get arrested, use it to call me. I'll bring you your books. You can study in jail.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: With Friends Like Steve's (2006) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

Great entertainment with something to say
13 August 2003 | by (Cumbria, Great Britain) – See all my reviews

When I started to watch this film I thought, not another teen movie. That's not to say it wasn't funny because it was hilarious but then something happened in the film as it began to give a message of racism in American society in particular(and the world by inference). The premise that a white student could become black just by using tanning pills is so ridiculous but if you get over that funny leap in belief and you give this film your time you will be rewarded with a sentimental love story with a anti-racist message and what's more, the movie makes you think- what if I were black? Would I be treated like that just on the basis of the colour(or color as you Americans spell it) of my skin?

The main character Howell comes across as a bit of a j***k, pardon my language, at first but you see him mature with what he sees happening around him. His self importance disappears with every racist moment and we are left with not a broken man as maybe someone who had to put up with it all through their life (a Black person) but because he can go back to being seen as important in society (i.e. a white man) he is left enriched by the experience and an infinitely better person. The love angle is very well portrayed especially by two people who actually went on to get married after the movie in real life which just shows the chemistry between them on screen. The only thing after seeing this movie that I can see wrong with it is its competing ideas and themes- you are not sure what you have watched, was it a teen movie, love story, drama or anti-racist 'propaganda'. Personally as someone who likes all those types of movies I think it is the my greatest modern movie of all time. 10/10


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why do people think this is a racist film? petekrug17
is it just me or did this ruin CTHowells career bensmybaby
Those two guys who keep telling the jokes mattscdl
iS THIS MOVIE WORTH BUYING! [ignore the typo error underneath this post XxWe_Are_MarshallxX
this is a very funny movie cliff-89
Very Underrated Comedy bryandeth316
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