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Higher Learning (1995)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sport  -  11 January 1995 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 12,546 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 133 user | 28 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

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Title: Higher Learning (1995)

Higher Learning (1995) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bradford English ...
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Dreads (as Busta Rhymez)
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Billy (as Jay Ferguson)
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Storyline

Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

18.000 Estudiantes 33 Nacionalidades 6 Razas 2 Sexos 1 Campus See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and sexuality, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$38,290,723 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Singleton wanted Sidney Poitier to play Prof. Maurice Phipps, but he was not available. Singleton's second choice was Samuel L. Jackson; the studio preferred Laurence Fishburne, who had worked successfully with Singleton in Boyz n the Hood (1991). See more »

Goofs

Immediately after Malik leaves Prof. Phipps' office for the last time in the movie, the camera pans in on a plaque that reads "Columbus University: propter aurum quod autulerunt et propter sanguis quiem effuderunt." Apparently Columbus University's classics department doesn't live up to Columbus University's reputation as one of the nation's premier institutions of higher learning. The plaque is supposed to read, "Columbus University: propter aurum quod abstulerunt et propter sanguinem qui effudit." ("Columbus University: because of the gold that they have taken away and because of the blood that has flowed.") See more »

Quotes

[after Malik referred to him as a "sell-out"]
Professor Phipps: So, Mr. Williams thinks I am an Uncle Tom, hmmm? Well, well, well. What does that have to do with your ability to place a comma in its proper place or put a period at the end of a sentence, hmmm?
See more »


Soundtracks

LOST MY MOTTO
Written by Robert Harrison
Performed by Cotton Mather
Courtesy of Elm Records
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User Reviews

 
Ouch, this is bad- Spoilers (that is if this movie can be spoiled)
28 October 2003 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Singleton has some serious issues he has to come to grips with. I get the feeling that he thinks he is pretty smart; however, this movie is almost comically transparent and self righteous. In addition, there are a bunch of "might-makes-right" messages like when our local Nazi jerks get beat up. I mean, who in their right mind is going to root for a bunch of Nazi jerks? However, he way Singleton portrays the "fight" is downright silly and seems to be designed to show us more the superior fighting qualities of the black protagonists than anything else. There is another "bad guy" (in reality a drunken frat boy) who rapes one of the movie's protagonists. In this instance, I think that Singleton actually does a nice job portraying what is probably an all too common situation when the woman involved asks the frat boy to use a condom and he either does not have one or does not want to use one. In any event, he does not accede to her demands that he stop and he proceeds to have intercourse despite her pleas. I think that this type of rape is all too common and in fact many uniformed people refuse to accept the fact that it is even a rape. Well, no means no, this is a rape, which probably occurs a lot in Universities across the country.

Having established the rape, how does Singleton deal with it? When the frat boy tries to call the woman, her roommate refuses to put the victim on the phone, at which point the frat boy calls the roommate a "black bitch." The aggrieved roommate appears to appeal to a counsel of Ice Cube, et al, who then proceed to physically humiliate and abuse the frat boy into repeated and prolonged "apologies" to roommate for his racist remarks; however the (apparently in Singleton's mind) lesser crime of rape is not mentioned. Again, no one really should feel sorry for the frat boy; however, Singleton seems to be sending a dual message that a racist comment is a greater offense then rape and in any event violence is justified against jerks.

What is so ultimately so disappointing is that this movie could have truly been about something important but Singleton, while no doubt a talented director, does not appear to have the maturity or depth to pull of something of this magnitude.


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