5.2/10
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35 user 19 critic

Soul Man (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 24 October 1986 (USA)
Trailer
1:00 | Trailer
To achieve his dream of attending Harvard, a pampered teen poses as a young black man to receive a full scholarship.

Director:

Steve Miner

Writer:

Carol Black

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
C. Thomas Howell ... Mark Watson
Rae Dawn Chong ... Sarah Walker
Arye Gross ... Gordon Bloomfeld
James Earl Jones ... Professor Banks
Melora Hardin ... Whitney Dunbar
Leslie Nielsen ... Mr. Dunbar
Ann Walker ... Mrs. Dunbar
James Sikking ... Bill Watson (as James B. Sikking)
Max Wright ... Dr. Aronson
Jeff Altman ... Ray McGrady
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Lisa Stimson
Maree Cheatham ... Mrs. Dorothy Watson (as Marie Cheatham)
Wallace Langham ... Barky Brewer (as Wally Ward)
Eric Schiff Eric Schiff ... Booey Fraser
Ron Reagan Ron Reagan ... Frank
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Storyline

Mark doesn't expect any problems in going to college: he and his friend have reserved places in Harvard and his parents have the money to pay for his education there. But suddenly his father's neurotic psychiatrist advises him to go on vacation in Hawaii instead of spending more money on his son. Since Mark wants to keep his lifestyle, including a fancy car and a flat shared with his friend, he seeks financial support. The only foundation which still accepts applications is for blacks only -- no problem, with lots of bronzing pills and "soul in his voice" he sets out to Harvard. Soon he has to realize that being black will cause some people to handle him differently. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mark needs a scholarship to get into Harvard. There's one more available for a black student. The problem is Mark's not black... Yet. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Imposter See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,422,179, 26 October 1986

Gross USA:

$27,820,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,820,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

C. Thomas Howell and Arye Gross appeared in The Prince and the Surfer (1999). See more »

Goofs

About fifteen minutes into the picture, Mark and Gordon are seen traveling up Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, adjacent to the Harvard campus, and suddenly, they're not on Mass. Ave. anymore, they're on Quincy St., a couple blocks away. Then, just as suddenly, they're right back on Mass Ave., again proceeding through Harvard Square, just as they were before. See more »

Quotes

Mark Watson: She told me they have support for people whose parents are poor, but not for those whose parents are assholes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Totally Awesome (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Eek-Ah-Bo Static Automatic
By Sly Stone
Performed by Sly Stone
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

" I exceeded the recommended dosage."
24 July 2001 | by renaldo and claraSee all my reviews

Pills that can tan your entire body?! Huh. ;)

C.Thomas Howell is so good in his role. His charm is so intoxicating and you always wanna laugh at him. He looks like a cuter version of steve-o from jackass, with discolored skin and a black curly 'fro! He looks so obviously NOT black.

The best part of this film is the editing style. I recently discovered the importance of editing; it's good that this one was edited at a very quick and entertaining pace, otherwise it would've seemed outdated by today.

I actually think a film like this would make it today, since there's a heavy backlash from the '90's 'political correctness' theme. There are some heavy themes here, (although it's a comedy) but C.Thomas Howell keeps you wanting more. Supporting roles from James Earl Jones, the character Sarah, and her son are all great, but C.Thomas Howell keeps this film timeless; he is perfect.


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