22 user 22 critic

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:
... Jonathan Fisher
... Punchy
... Alison Parker
... Leonard Pike
... Ted Avery
... Fast Black
... Harriet
Frederick Rolf ... Joel Davis
... Reggie
... Art Sheffield
Shari Hilton ... Darlene
Donna Bailey ... Yvonne
Ed Van Nuys ... Judge
Daniel Nalbach ... Singer
... Solo


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


To get even he must get STREET SMART 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?


One of the locations used was the old Seville Theater, in a rundown section of St. Catherine Street, near the old Montreal Forum. By that time, the theater had been closed for quite a while, and they redressed it as an adult movie theater on New York City's 42nd Street, leaving many to believe that the Seville Theater was being turned in a porno palace. After filming was done, everything was taken down, and the theater still remains closed to this day (December 2006), but is basically a shell, as the owners have let it fall into disrepair. However, the city has deemed the front of the building "historically important architecture", and will not allow the building to be torn down, unless they incorporate the front of the building into a new project. 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: Are you Fast Black?
Fast Black: To some. My momma always called me Leo. Leo Smalls Jr.
See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Oscar Nomination Surprises for 1987 (1988) See more »


Payin For It Now
Written by D. Amy & Robert Cray
Performed by The Robert Cray Band
Published by Calhoun St. Music (BMI)
Administered by Bug Music
Courtesy of Hightone Records & Bug Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Superman on a different roll...
11 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

Pretty good movie with an early Morgan Freeman as a pimp. Most of the characters that Freeman plays (especially of late) are good hearted, good natured and easy going that make him a likable character, viewers come to expect that type of character but this one reminds me of the one Denzel Washington played in Training Day. Hard, mean, and ruthless; totally opposite from what we're used to seeing from either actor, but a refreshing change. The fact that it's the complete opposite from their usual rolls give them that much more impact.

And while movie ad excerpt quotes praising performances are almost always the sign of a stinker (damning with faint praise), in this case, I think Morgan Freeman's performance is worth this movie alone. It's nuanced, and a perfect study of a sociopathic personality. Freeman plays a total predator, who will brutalize without conscience, but will pour on immense charm in the next second as a way of manipulating others. No one had ever heard of Morgan Freeman before this movie...but he was nominated for an Oscar for this performance. He should have won it! The energy level on screen goes down infinitely when Freeman is not present. Kathy Baker also does a decent job as one of Fast Black's prostitutes. All in all, the movie was enjoyable, had a good story-line and is a must-see for Morgan Freeman fans and Christopher Reeve fans.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

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