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Street Smart (1987)

A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Fisher
Alison Parker
Leonard Pike
Ted Avery
Frederick Rolf ...
Joel Davis
Art Sheffield
Shari Hilton ...
Donna Bailey ...
Ed Van Nuys ...
Daniel Nalbach ...


Magazine reporter Jonathan Fisher, in danger of losing his job, promises to write a factual hard-hitting story of prostitution. But when he tries to get information from the subjects, he is ignored. So he ends up faking a well received story of a pimp, describing his life and crimes. But police think the story is of a real life pimp who is wanted for murder and start pressuring him to reveal the identity of subject in his story, and all he knows. The pimp the police suspect, also thinks the story is about himself, and wants to know what Jonathan knows, and who told him. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To get even he must get STREET SMART See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armação Perigosa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$325,835 (USA) (22 March 1987)


$1,119,112 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Christopher Reeve had the script in his possession for a long time, before he agreed to make it. Reeve had read a few pages, and felt it wasn't for him, before dumping the script on a pile of other screenplays in his bedroom. A few weeks later, he picked it up and decided to try again, and instantly liked the script. He made the material his next project. See more »


Right when Punch and her pimp enter the party, the editor announces them at the door..They cut to a woman on the stairs and Punchies leopard skin leotard clad legs are stretched out behind her. They have a scene on the stairs a few minutes later. See more »


[repeated lines]
Jonathan Fisher: This is Jonathan Fisher, Channel 3, Street Smart!
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Featured in The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2012) See more »


Street Beat
Written by Robert Irving III
Produced and Arranged by Robert Irving III
See more »

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User Reviews

"I wanna know what its like to be you?"
14 January 2012 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Morgan Freeman has a commanding presence and he does it with such little ease. Here is no different in a pimp role, as you could say outside the fittingly gritty and authentic urban location work that really puts you there. He is the best thing about this movie. Giving his character plenty of personality with weight, but an underlining edginess that sees him playing it rough when he "had" too. That's not taking anything away from the likes of Christopher Reeve, Kathy Baker and Mimi Rogers. Reeves is rather accomplished as the reporter who finds himself in a difficult position --- career and personal life, but his morals are really put to the test. The ladies are the ones who come off being the ones you care for. New York journalist Jonathan Fisher is not getting anywhere in his attempt to write an article on prostitution, so he writes a fictional expose on a pimp, that ends up seeing him gather numerous praise for its realism. However this fake piece seems to resemble that of a real life pimp; "Fast Black" who's on trail for murder. As things become unstuck, Fisher now finds himself caught in a dangerous predicament with the distract attorney on one side wanting these notes and Fast Black on the other trying to get him on his side by showing him in the real life of a pimp. How one little lie can escalate into something much more. This smoky dramatic thriller doesn't exploit the glamorous nature, but gets dirty as things spiral out of control and circumstances are manipulated to suit one's own favour. This leads to some dangerous consequences for both sides. The interplay between Freeman and Reeves' characters are always gripping and at times quite intense and spontaneous. The rigid narrative does have some questionable details, but remains digestible and cleverly explosive up until its sudden ending of street justice that the courts couldn't supply. Also memorable is the swaying jazz flavour to the music soundtrack and Baker as one of Fast Black's hookers. This enterprise was produced by Cannon.

"We don't like to lose."

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