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Street Smart (1987)

A New York journalist lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder.




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alison Parker
Leonard Pike
Frederick Rolf ...
Joel Davis
Art Sheffield
Shari Hilton ...
Donna Bailey ...
Ed Van Nuys ...
Daniel Nalbach ...


Magazine reporter Jonathan Fisher, in danger of losing his job, promises to write a factual hard-hitting story of prostitution. But when he tries to get information from the subjects, he is ignored. So he ends up faking a well received story of a pimp, describing his life and crimes. But police think the story is of a real life pimp who is wanted for murder and start pressuring him to reveal the identity of subject in his story, and all he knows. The pimp the police suspect, also thinks the story is about himself, and wants to know what Jonathan knows, and who told him. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Never let the truth ruin a good story. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armação Perigosa  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$325,835, 22 March 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Cannon Group, Inc. effectively dumped the film after its completion, and gave it a small release, limited to less than three hundred screens. See more »


Right when Punch and her pimp enter the party, the editor announces them at the door..They cut to a woman on the stairs and Punchies leopard skin leotard clad legs are stretched out behind her. They have a scene on the stairs a few minutes later. See more »


Jonathan Fisher: What was the weirdest thing a guy asked you to do?
Punchy: Talk!
See more »


The Last Time (I Get Burned Like This)
Written by Robert Cray
Performed by The Robert Cray Band
Published by Calhoun St. Music (BMI)
Administered by Bug Music
Courtesy of Hightone Records & Bug Music
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User Reviews

A film that could of used a bit more smarts

It's great when an actor gives such an electric and worthy performance in a not so great film or one of small stature. I'm not saying this movie's bad. It's just not as good as what of could of been, if a bit more care and meat went into the plotting of story, which to say I really liked, putting a spin on these kind of journalist drama's. Near it's climax especially, is where the story wasn't handled well, where that part was is over too quickly, despite an climactic moment, an unforeseen fate for one, that did make sense, from the other party that wrapped the film up. I really thought that section was weak, and there are a couple of other forgettably weak moments, that don't spark. Many actors playing pimps, put on the macho "what have you" act. With Frreman, it was vet natural, and much more realistic, I really wanted to know more about, as he's not your usual pimp, but boy, he radiates some real menace. Supposedly based on a true article (well you know) journalist Reeve, average here, pressed for a deadline, resorts to making up a story of a pimp, as researching parties aren't that cooperative, and Reeve doesn't want to be out of a job, either. When his faux article on a fictional pimp, conflicts with another pimp being charged for manslaughter, (I mean, what are the chances really?) Reeve finds himself in hot water, playing hardball, with prosecutors, all so ready to take pimp, Leo Small, aka: Fast Eddy (Freeman) down. There's a great dilemma/situation of story here as in Reeve's impasse, which intensifies some. Manslaughter is a son of bitch, where an early scene has Freeman, trying to stop a perverted sicko, beating up on a ho, where one swift kick, puts the old's guys ticker out, so really Eddy has copped a bad serve. But manslaughter is manslaughter, and like the rough, dangerously and manipulative pimp with a charming facade, Eddy is, he's as that prosecutor describes, "better off the street and behind bars". In short, he's menace. Reeve in his own mind, eventually comes around to that analysis as well. I kind of had the feeling the story was losing it's way or a bit too vague in it's telling of this tale, as though not enough discipline was given to it. Again though, as it has done many times before, I really found it hard to believe the chances of this coincidence happening as it just rides on too thin ice. Besides Freeman, Kathy Baker as the hot battered prostitute was a notable standout too, where Mimi Rodgers an actress in demand a lot, and always delivers, was very strong as Reeve's girlfriend. It was a pity, Reeve couldn't of carried his weight as well. Though in it's B grade offering, Street Smart is quite absorbing in it's story and on it's first watch, without Freeman and Bates, turning in great performances, giving life to a kind of flat running film, this would of sunk bad.

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