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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 »


Mark: This is the Cosby decade. America loves black people.
See more »


Spoofed in Totally Awesome (2006) See more »


By John Smith
Performed by Nu Shooz
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
See more »

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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.

18 of 22 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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