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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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Writers:

(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:
... Captain Davenport
... Sergeant Waters
... Private Wilkie
... Corporal Cobb
... Private Smalls
... Captain Taylor
... C.J. Memphis
... Corporal Ellis
... Private First Class Peterson
... Private Henson
... Big Mary
... Lieutenant Byrd
... Captain Wilcox
... Sergeant Washington
... Colonel Nivens
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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

Charles Fuller went and stayed with Norman Jewison for six to eight weeks, to develop and work on the film's screenplay. Jewison, though, is not credited for co-writing the movie. See more »

Goofs

In some of the scenes, characters are being driven around the base or the town. The stop signs are red, but before the late 1950's, stop signs were all yellow. See more »

Quotes

Private First Class Peterson: I didn't kill much. Some things need gettin' rid of. Man like Waters never did nobody no good anyway, Captain.
Captain Davenport: Who gave you the right to judge? To decide who is fit to be a negro, and who is not? Who?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psychos in Love (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Low Down Dirty Shame
Written by Larry Riley
Performed by Patti LaBelle and Larry Riley
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User Reviews

 
A must-see mystery drama inside a WWII black army base
14 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

An old movie I never saw but had heard about. It has held up very well over the two decades since it came out (1984). The DVD comments by the director are interesting: low budget, core cast came from Broadway stage version, filmed at Ft. Chafee, Arkansas, Governor Bill Clinton visited the lot, local buildings and people were heavily used. Denzel Washington is fine in an early role; Adolph Caesar (well named for his role!)is fascinating; Howard Rollins is a force. Hard to put a finger on a weak link. Much of the music and barracks scenes are improvised giving the word "ensemble" real meaning. Definitely worth a first or second look. The spontaneous celebration of the long-awaited announcement that the unit is finally going to be shipped to Europe to fight is a special and real moment--validating the men's commitments to the U.S., with all its flaws, and the army itself, which would gradually emerge as a leading force for racial integration in the country.


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