12 user 2 critic

The Negro Soldier (1944)

Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers.


(as Capt. Stuart Heisler)



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Credited cast:
Gertrude Elise Ayer ...
Herself - Principal (archive footage)
Richard Barthe ...
Himself - Sculptor (archive footage)
Erich Borchmeyer ...
Himself (archive footage)
William Broadus
Clarence Brooks
Dean Dixon ...
Himself - Conductor (archive footage)
Norman Ford ...
(as Lt. Norman Ford)
W.C. Handy ...
Himself (archive footage)
Matthew Henson ...
Himself - Polar Explorer (archive footage)
Cornelius Johnson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Henry Johnson ...
Himself - WW1 Soldier (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Ralph Metcalfe ...
Himself (archive footage)
Carlton Moss ...
Lawrence Reddick ...
Himself - Museum Curator (archive footage)


Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers.

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Release Date:

10 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Темнокожий солдат  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Produced by Frank Capra, the film makes use of the same stock footage of a bell ringing out that opens Capra's first post-WWII film, It's A Wonderful Life. The bell appears on screen about 9 minutes into the film, as the narrator discusses the contribution of African American to Washington's Army. See more »


Featured in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »


The Army Goes Rolling Along
Official song of the U.S. Army
Music by Edmund L. Gruber, Lyrics by John Philip Sousa
See more »

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User Reviews

Clever documentary
13 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

The US was recruiting more and more black people as soldiers as WW2 came to a close. Eventually 125,000 would serve overseas and nearly 1000 would die in combat, but in 1943 the big question was how to motivate blacks to fight for an America in which segregation was still very much alive.

Carlton Moss was serving as an adviser to the War Department and the job was given to him to write the documentary, and eventually he ended up starring as a Minister.

Moss decided to focus on the contribution of blacks in American history, particularly their role in battles as well as their achievements in science, medicine, and education. He contrasts that with the Axis views about "colored people" and their treatment of conquered peoples. The film switches tones and then follows the life of a new enlistee who eventually makes it to officer candidate school.

The documentary is very clever, telling the truth, but just enough of the truth to avoid some of the awful elements of life for black people in the U.S.

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