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A Soldier's Story (1984)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Charles Fuller (screenplay), Charles Fuller (play)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard E. Rollins Jr. ... Captain Davenport
Adolph Caesar ... Sergeant Waters
Art Evans ... Private Wilkie
David Alan Grier ... Corporal Cobb
David Harris ... Private Smalls
Dennis Lipscomb ... Captain Taylor
Larry Riley ... C.J. Memphis
Robert Townsend ... Corporal Ellis
Denzel Washington ... Private First Class Peterson
William Allen Young ... Private Henson
Patti LaBelle ... Big Mary
Wings Hauser ... Lieutenant Byrd
Scott Paulin ... Captain Wilcox
John Hancock ... Sergeant Washington
Trey Wilson ... Colonel Nivens
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Storyline

A black soldier is killed while returning to his base in the deep south. The white people of the area are suspected at first. A tough black army attorney is brought in to find out the truth. We find out a bit more about the dead soldier in flashbacks - and that he was unpopular. Will the attorney find the killer ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alone, far from home, and far from justice, he has three days to learn the truth about a murder...and the truth is a story you won't forget.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Soldier's Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Clarendon, Arkansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$156,383, 16 September 1984

Gross USA:

$21,821,347

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,821,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures, Caldix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the film's audio commentary, it was the first film to shoot in Arkansas, but this is incorrect. See more »

Goofs

The African-American guard at the main gate, wears the shoulder patch of the 87th Infantry Division, while various other African-American characters are seen wearing 63rd Infantry Division insignia on their sleeves. (Both divisions were "all-white" formations during WW2.) See more »

Quotes

Colonel Nivens: The worst thing you can do, in this part of the country, is pay too much attention to the death of a negro under mysterious circumstances.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 5 minutes from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »


Soundtracks

Pourin' Whiskey Blues
Written by Patti LaBelle, James R. Ellison (as James Ellison) and Armistead Edwards
Performed by Patti LaBelle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating mystery with a great script and a fine ensemble cast make this a must-see
23 November 2001 | by llltdesqSee all my reviews

This is an excellent film, at it's heart a case study in human psychology, but also a mystery and an intriguing one at that. The cast, mostly unknowns at the time, is fantastic and contains many now-familiar faces, most notably Denzel Washington and David Alan Grier. Adolph Caesar was nominated for an Oscar and Howard Rollins, Jr. probably should have been. Another highlight (at least for me) are the songs sung by Larry Riley and Patte LaBelle. This is a gem of a film, one that is most highly recommended.


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