7.2/10
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A Soldier's Story (1984)

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An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

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(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Corporal Cobb
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Private Smalls
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Private Henson
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Big Mary
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Lieutenant Byrd
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Captain Wilcox
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Sergeant Washington
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Storyline

A black soldier is killed while returning to his base in the deep south. The white people of the area are suspected at first. A tough black army attorney is brought in to find out the truth. We find out a bit more about the dead soldier in flashbacks - and that he was unpopular. Will the attorney find the killer ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alone, far from home, and far from justice, he has three days to learn the truth about a murder...and the truth is a story you won't forget.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La historia de un soldado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$156,383, 16 September 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,821,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the actors appearing in the movie were thespians, who regularly worked on the New York City stage, on and off-Broadway. See more »

Goofs

After Sgt. Waters is shot, we hear the sound of the Army 45 being cocked for the next shot. A semi-automatic pistol cocks itself when the slide comes back after shooting the round in the chamber. See more »

Quotes

Master Sergeant Vernon Waters: You know the damage one ignorant Negro can do? We were in France in the first war; we'd won decorations. But the white boys had told all them French gals that we had tails. Then they found this ignorant colored soldier, paid him to tie a tail to his ass and run around half-naked, making monkey sounds. Put him on the big round table in the Cafe Napoleon, put a reed in his hand, crown on his head, blanket on his shoulders, and made him eat *bananas* in front of all them Frenchies. Oh, how the ...
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Soundtracks

Bright Red Zoot Suit
Written and Performed by Larry Riley
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User Reviews

A Enthralling film about racism in the military
5 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Commerating the 20th Anniversary of a brilliant classic!

This was one of the most powerful films that came out in 1984. Director Norman Jewison(In The Heat Of The Night)adaptation of the Puliitzer Prize-winning play(by Charles Fuller) and numerous NAACP awards for best achievement in African-American literature,tells about the ramificiations of racism and loyalty through the prism of blacks in the military,revealed through a mystery set in the 1940's deep South. Howard E. Rollins(Ragtime,and from the TV series In The Heat Of The Night)plays a military investigator,Captain Davenport,who is assigned to the murder of a drill instructor,Sergeant Waters,played by Adolph Caesar(The Color Purple),who was in charge of a black platoon during World War II. Under pressure from his superiors to wrap his investigation up quickly,Rollins instead delves deeply into the relationships between the despised drill instructor and his men,uncovering lies and animousity,and confronting the question of what it means to be black in a white man's world. Rollins delivers a riveting,stoic,emotional lead into the role of Captain Davenport while Caesar gives an electrifying performance as the Sergeant. A lot of fresh faces gives brilliant performances throughout the film including one from a youthful Denzel Washington,who makes an early appearance as a soldier with a deep grudge against the drill instructor and a deep mistrust of Rollins' investigator. Look for appearances by Larry Riley, David Alan Grier,Robert Townsend,and Patti LaBelle. A powerfully written story that makes the most of its large and impressive ensemble cast which still is enthralling--some 20th after its release.

MPAA Rating: PG-For Language,Racial Overtones and Comment,Violence.


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