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Carbon Copy (1981)

When a rich white corporate executive finds out that he has an illegitimate black son, things start falling apart for him at home, at work, and in his social circles.


Michael Schultz


Stanley Shapiro





Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Walter Whitney
Susan Saint James ... Vivian Whitney
Jack Warden ... Nelson Longhurst
Dick Martin ... Victor Bard
Denzel Washington ... Roger Porter
Paul Winfield ... Bob Garvey
Macon McCalman ... Tubby Wederholt
Vicky Dawson ... Mary Ann
Parley Baer ... Dr. Bristol
Vernon Weddle ... Wardlow
Edward Marshall Edward Marshall ... Freddie
Ed Call Ed Call ... Basketball Father
Angelina Estrada Angelina Estrada ... Bianca
Carmen Filpi ... Wino
Warren Munson ... 2nd Guard


A white corporate executive is surprised to discover that he has a black teen-age son who can't wait to be adopted into the almost exclusively white community of San Marino, California. Written by K. Rose <rcs@texas.net> and horrendous punctuation corrected by Brooks

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


" I lost my job, my house and my Rolls Royce; My family left me...What else can possibly go wrong?" "Hi, Dad!" See more »


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This picture was the first feature film produced by RKO Pictures after a very long time. However, RKO was only a co-distributor with the Hemdale Film Corpration and Avco-Embassy Pictures. See more »


When Walter pulls in to park and hits the parking meter, he reverses and parks. The car is visibly outside of the parking lane lines. After the cut, he gets out of the car and the car is within the parking lane lines. See more »


Walter Whitney: It's hard to hate you, Nelson. You have just enough logic to give your sickness respectability. You've sentenced whole races of people to be born losers, and as the father of one, I object. Not that he was born with two strikes on him, but that you won't give him a third pitch to swing at. Goodbye, Nelson.
Nelson Longhurst: You walk out this time, Walter, and I'll destroy you. When I'm through with you, you'll think shoveling horseshit is a step up.
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Yang 3 in 2D (2010) See more »


Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
Written by Jimmy Cox
Performed by Bessie Smith
See more »

User Reviews

It's Good To See That Denzel Washington's Film Career Has Survived This Rather Lackluster Debut
8 November 2002 | by sorannoSee all my reviews

This little known 1981 Avco Embassy release was the film debut for the ever talented Denzel Washington but I certainly wouldn't blame him if he ever wished to forget about its existence. They have to start somewhere after all and Washington started here in this comedy about a middle aged executive (George Segal) who is happily married and has a successful career. He feels as though his life is complete. Then, suddenly, a long forgotten illegitimate son (Washington) from a previous relationship tracks him down and wants to bond with the father he never knew. Comic complications ensue but none of them are really genuinely funny. It would take another three years before Washington would make another film but his great supporting role in "A Soldier's Story" was a sure sign of an excellent film career to come. View this one only as a curiosity piece as to how Washington started out in his film career before he hit it big and long before he got those two well deserved Academy Awards.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carbon Copy See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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