7.1/10
451
7 user 13 critic

Chameleon Street (1989)

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Wendell B. Harris Jr. ... William Douglas Street
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Timothy Alvaro Timothy Alvaro ... Brian
Dave Barber Dave Barber ... Self
Marti Bowling ... Marti
Alfred Bruce Bradley Alfred Bruce Bradley ... Smooth
Mano Breckenridge Mano Breckenridge ... Neelish Ratnayaka
Anthony Ennis Anthony Ennis ... Curtis
Amina Fakir ... Tatiana
Maurice Givens Maurice Givens ... Cool (these are my brother's clothes)
Anita Gordon Anita Gordon ... Darlene Street
Gary Irwin Gary Irwin ... Dr. Hardy
Davon Kiley Davon Kiley ... Dr. Hand
Dan Lawton Dan Lawton ... Aldo 'Jerry Lewis' Falco
Angela Leslie Angela Leslie ... Gabrielle
Bryan McCree Bryan McCree ... Sam
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Storyline

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a chameleon, taking on whatever role suits the situation. From reporter to doctor to lawyer, he impersonates anyone he sees a need for and he can earn money being. The movie is based on the real people, William Douglas Street, Jr., and Erik Dupin. Written by Brian D. Switzer <bswitzer@uoguelph.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wendell B. Harris Jr. set many of the scenes from Chameleon Street in his native Flint, Michigan. In the scene in the van where a large skyscraper can be seen in the background, that is the Genesee Towers building on S. Saginaw Street in downtown Flint. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hand: Have you thought about what you're going to do on the outside? Let me put it this way - once you get out, will there be any more of these?
William Douglas Street: No, no. I'm through. No more.
Dr. Hand: No more impersonations?
William Douglas Street: No. Enough is enough.
Dr. Hand: I don't believe you.
William Douglas Street: Would I lie?
Dr. Hand: I don't think you're necessarily lying. I don't think you're in control of what you do or say. I think you behave in complimentarity.
William Douglas Street: Okay.
Dr. Hand: Do you know what that means?
William Douglas Street: No.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Beauty and the Beast (1946) See more »

User Reviews

Catch Him If You Can
10 November 2017 | by sol-See all my reviews

Inspired by the real life exploits of an African American man who impersonated everything from a lawyer to a surgeon to a foreign exchange student in the 1970s, 'Chameleon Street' might sound a lot like 'Catch Me If You Can', but this is a distinctly different sort of film. In the hands of writer-director Wendell B. Harris Jr., the protagonist is a curiously pitied character: one who cannot help but "intuit" the needs and desires of everyone he meets and "become that need" - far closer to the title character in 'Zelig' than Frank Abagnale Jr. There is a lot to like in how his dilemma feels like a hyperbolic metaphor for the way we all function, acting differently in different situations depending on who else we are with. The film's dramatic crunch comes from how his chameleonic nature impacts on his ability to be the father and husband that his family wants, though this area feels a tad undernourished due to a very false performance by the actress playing his daughter as well as the script's constant inflection towards comedy. And yet, while the laughs tend to overshadow the drama, the funny moments work incredibly well. Highlights include the protagonist lecturing a drunk on how to conjugate the F-word, a fake epileptic seizure that gets out of control and him rambling off a whole string of "J'accuse" sentences while trying to speak French.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

16 May 1991 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

As Mil Faces de Street See more »

Filming Locations:

Detroit, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$235,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gathsemane 84 See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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