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Higher Learning (1995)

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People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

Director:

John Singleton

Writer:

John Singleton
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Popularity
4,630 ( 465)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Epps ... Malik Williams
Kristy Swanson ... Kristen Connor
Michael Rapaport ... Remy
Jennifer Connelly ... Taryn
Ice Cube ... Fudge
Jason Wiles ... Wayne
Tyra Banks ... Deja
Cole Hauser ... Scott Moss
Laurence Fishburne ... Professor Maurice Phipps
Bradford English Bradford English ... Officer Bradley
Regina King ... Monet
Busta Rhymes ... Dreads (as Busta Rhymez)
Jay R. Ferguson ... Billy (as Jay Ferguson)
Andrew Bryniarski ... Knocko
Trevor St. John ... James
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Storyline

Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

49 Countries. 6 Races. 2 Sexes. 1 Campus. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and sexuality, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$38,290,723
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Originally John Singleton wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play Remy, while Michael Rapaport was originally going to play Scott Moss. DiCaprio was cast, but unable to be in the film because of a scheduling conflict with The Quick and the Dead (1995). So Singleton had Rappaport play Remy once Cole Hauser was cast. See more »

Goofs

When Remy confronts Malik, by the statue, about Malik's black panther shirt and calls him a coon. Malik makes threats and Remy runs off. In the next scene Malik confronts Remy at his dorm room Malik states that Remy has been good about not saying anything to him. See more »

Quotes

James: No. This means white power!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unlearn [appears in movie's closing shot, instead of "The End"] See more »

Connections

Referenced in All Eyez on Me (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

ASK OF YOU
Written by Rokusuke Ei (as Rokusuke El), Hachidai Nakamura (as Hachidal Nakamura),
Tim Riley and Raphael Saadiq
Produced by Raphael Saadiq
Performed by Raphael Saadiq (of Tony! Toni! Toné!)
Courtesy of Mercury Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All the fun of an After School Special
18 April 2005 | by Backlash_JackSee all my reviews

Yes, people are racist. People are even racist in college. That's a good point, and the issue of racism has been dealt with many times before in countless films. What sets Higher Learning apart from the pack is that it deals with the issue of racism in the most ham-fisted and predictable way possible, oh yeah it's in college too.

This film deals with this problem of racism the way Frankenstein deals with most problems, it bashes you over the head repeatedly in a brutal and sluggish manner. Most of the characters are cartoonish, one-dimensional, caricatures (lesbian feminist, angry black man), that react to situations as dramatically and predictably as possible. Instead of defying stereotypes this film is overpopulated with them. The angry black men feel cheated, feminists hate men, etc. (one feminist even holds a sign that reads "Dead Men Don't Rape." See what I mean?) I don't want to give anything away, but in this movie if someone seems like a shifty loner or a date rapist they'll probably behave exactly how you expect them to. The changes the characters go through seems obvious to everyone but the people in the movie. The big twist in the plot hinges on whether or not the violent neo-Nazis will act like violent neo-Nazis. I'll guess you'll just have to watch to find out what happens.

Another problem I have with this movie is that it's supposed to be "gritty" and "hard-hitting," but they make Nazis the bad guys. I agree Nazis are evil, but that's my point. Everybody thinks Nazis are bad; we're not breaking any new ground here. Nazis have been portrayed as villains since the 1930's. The film doesn't challenge any viewpoints or make bold statements. It just deals with issues we all know about in a clumsy, after-school-special like, manner. Being anti-rape, anti-racist, and anti-Nazi isn't exactly taking a hard stance on a controversial issue.

Higher Learning is predictable, cartoonish, and in a word stupid. Avoid at all costs.


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