6.5/10
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132 user 30 critic

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
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:

Read between the borders 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

The idea for the film came about when director Jonathan Demme approached John Singleton about making a movie about college racial issues in the country when they were in pre-production for Boyz n the Hood (1991), which was being developed at Orion Pictures with Singleton directing and Demme producing. When the deal with Orion fell through, Singleton took the idea and began to develop it while at Columbia Pictures. See more »

Goofs

Remy says his from Idaho but he speaks with a thick New York accent. See more »

Quotes

Scott Moss: Hey, um... listen. Me and some of my buddies over there are gonna go down to his bar down on corner for a drink. You wanna come along?
Remy: Huh?
Scott Moss: I said me and my buddies are going to get a drink. Do you want to come along?
Remy: [stands up] What are you? Some kind of queer?
Scott Moss: What? What is that? What are you talking about?
Remy: [pushes Scott] I should kick your ass! Making the moves on me.
Scott Moss: First, don't ever touch me again. Because I will beat you to the fucking ground, boy! Second, I ain't no faggot. I just wanted...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

WAIT AND SEE
Written by Joel Bell, Peter Pagonis, Tom Walter & Pierre Gallaird
Performed by Mrs. God
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated! Finally an intelligent film about racism
27 June 2003 | by FlorisVSee all my reviews

John Singleton's finest film, before blockbuster wannabees like the Shaft remake, this is a thought-provoking movie with overall great acting and superb balance between the stories 3 main characters, each with identifiable youngster problems.

What I liked about it most is that it also covers the problem of selfpity among young blacks, a problem mostly ignored by the media and other films who mostly focus on social-economical problems and racism by whites. This movie shows that blacks can be equally ignorant and racist.

The masterful thing about this film is that it deals with so many topics without getting shallow. It's not just about racism, but about how hard it can be to adopt to a new world (college), date rape, discovering sexuality and isolation. Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport and Kristy Swanson each deliver fine performances, and the supporting cast is equally interesting with Jennifer Connelly as a lez (yay) and with Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes as college bums causing little riots.

The only negative is the caricature of a professor by Laurence Fishburne ("Peppermint?"). Surely, plenty of professors are nutty. But they're not as flat. The skinheads are also a bit of a caricature, but I guess they are like that too in real life.

Overall a great underrated piece of filmwork, if you liked American History X you'll love this one.

8,5 out of 10


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