MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 135 this week

Street Smart (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  20 March 1987 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,773 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 17 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 12 Sep 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 08 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Street Smart" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Street Smart (1987)

Street Smart (1987) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Street Smart.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Daniel Moulin goes to New York on a business trip and decides to take advantage of his time in the Big Apple to try and locate the father he never knew. The only thing he has to go on however is an address in the Bronx that is 25 years old.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Guillaume Canet, Burt Young, Monica Trombetta
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A hustling drug addict checks himself into rehab to escape trouble with the law, and realizes that it's exactly what he needs.

Director: Glenn Gordon Caron
Stars: Michael Keaton, Kathy Baker, Morgan Freeman
Sweet Revenge (1976)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman with a long rap sheet who steals cars for a living is befriended by a public defender who tries to steer her straight. But her goal is to steal and subsequently sell enough ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Stockard Channing, Sam Waterston, Franklyn Ajaye
Reunion (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two young boys from very different backgrounds become friends in 1933 Stuttgart. However, they don't realize how different they are until much later as one is the son of a well-to-do Jewish... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Jason Robards, Christien Anholt, Samuel West
Clinton and Nadine (TV Movie 1988)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Andy Garcia plays Clinton, who is eager to find his brother's murderer. To do so, he enlists the aid of Nadine, an expensive call girl. Clinton and Nadine get sucked into a plot to smuggle guns to the Contra forces in Nicaragua.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Andy Garcia, Ellen Barkin, Morgan Freeman
The Aviator (1985)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A 1920s mail pilot and a rich man's daughter crash-land on a mountain full of hungry wolves.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette, Jack Warden
Monsignor (1982)
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

An ambitious priest seduces a nun and leads the Vatican into shady business during and after World War II.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Geneviève Bujold, Fernando Rey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as well... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Alan Alda, Barbara Harris, Meryl Streep
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A television news chief courts his anchorwoman ex-wife with an eleventh-hour story.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve
Misunderstood (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Busy and often absent father must take care of his two boys after his wife dies. They all live in Tunisia because of their father's job. The older boy is handling the difficult changes much better than the younger one.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Gene Hackman, Henry Thomas, Rip Torn
Mortal Sins (TV Movie 1992)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A serial killer confesses to a priest, who becomes a suspect and a sleuth because he cannot tell the police.

Director: Bradford May
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Roxann Dawson, Francis Guinan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jonathan Fisher
...
Punchy
...
Alison Parker
...
Leonard Pike
Andre Gregory ...
Ted Avery
...
...
Harriet
Frederick Rolf ...
Joel Davis
...
Reggie
...
Art Sheffield
Shari Hilton ...
Darlene
Donna Bailey ...
Yvonne
Ed Van Nuys ...
Judge
Daniel Nalbach ...
Singer
...
Solo
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Never let the truth ruin a good story. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armação Perigosa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,119,112 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jerry Shatzberg and star Christopher Reeve wanted to shoot the film in New York, where it is set, but Cannon insisted the picture be shot in Toronto. The move ended up saving the movie between $1-2 million. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Fast Black: [to his partner who was running away from him] Reggie, are you crazy? What the hell you...
[Reggie fires the gun]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Black Cinema (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Only in Your Arms
Written by Paul Chiten & Michael Bishop
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Morgan Freeman Is Great As Always, But Story Lacks Crucial Plot Points
20 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Street Smart" is a movie not a lot of people appear to remember from the 1980's. What attracted me to the movie was the fact that Morgan Freeman received his first ever Academy Award nomination for his role as a pimp in this film. Freeman hasn't played a role like this before or since, and his best known roles to come after this (including Oscar nominated roles) have consisted of more positive characters with effective leadership skills. Although Freeman doesn't play the type of positive African-American role model here that he is now best known for playing,he gives the character of Leo Smalls, Jr., a.k.a. "Fast Black", a three-dimensional performance that few other actors, black or white, would have been able to pull off. He's not just an intimidating presence, or a guy who wears flashy clothes. In fact, the scenes where he goes back to his apartment, and a poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. can be seen in the background, says volumes about his character.

Without a doubt, Freeman's performance is the best thing about this movie. The rest of the movie is indeed intriguing, but has a few weaknesses which makes it feel a little half-baked. With a running time of 94 minutes, at least 20 minutes of footage could have been added to account for these skimmed-over plot details without throwing off the pace of the film.

The late Christopher Reeve is Jonathan Fisher, a Harvard educated print journalist who is under pressure to write a magazine article in a weekend. He submits an idea to his publisher, seemingly off the top of his head, about 24 hours in the life of a pimp. The story is supposed to be true, but Fisher, feeling intense encumbrance to get a story to his editor, fabricates one instead. To his surprise, the story makes the front page, Fisher becomes a celebrity overnight, and moves up to his own TV news segment.

The trouble comes in when some readers believe the article is about one particular real pimp (Freeman) who happens to be on trial for murder. Among those wary readers is the leading prosecutor for that case. Although the fictional article depicts no murder of any kind, Fisher is still ordered to give the court his notes in the trial, or be subject to a jail sentence.

With the trouble comes a story that keeps the viewers' interests high for what comes next, but plot holes that accompany the story remain unexplained throughout. For instance, we have some of an idea what Reeve's character wrote in the article, but no idea what in the article would be considered circumstantial evidence in a murder trial. Having a series of imaginary montages with Reeve's idea of a pimp as he's writing the story would have cleared that unexplained plot point up easily. Plus, although Reeve's character is Harvard educated, that's all we know about his character. How did he come up with the idea to write about a pimp in the first place? Since we never see him in the inner city until after he submitted the story proposal, that occurrence remains unexplained also. Reeve did a great job playing a guy who tries to maintain control of his life and career, only to have both be in jeopardy as his situation goes over his head. It would have been more helpful to establish some real roots for his character, though, not to mention a moral compass of some kind.

There were some other times where the story felt shaky, but the film had other great qualities. For instance, the inner city in the film looked far more real than other "gritty urban dramas" I've seen over the last few years where the movie sets looked like movie sets and the houses looked too polished. Overall though, the film is worth checking out for Freeman's performance, and probably should be remembered better in Reeve's career than "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace". If anything, this movie showed that Reeve can play a character who has everything under control (Superman) just as well as one who does not.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Morgan The Pimp? a_spike_lee_joint
Restaurant scene location? punchdrunkswope
35mm screening in London - September 27th philipconcannon
Discuss Street Smart (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?