5.2/10
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35 user 19 critic

Soul Man (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 24 October 1986 (USA)
Trailer
1:00 | Trailer
To achieve his dream of attending Harvard, a pampered teen poses as a young black man to receive a full scholarship.

Director:

Steve Miner

Writer:

Carol Black

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
C. Thomas Howell ... Mark Watson
Rae Dawn Chong ... Sarah Walker
Arye Gross ... Gordon Bloomfeld
James Earl Jones ... Professor Banks
Melora Hardin ... Whitney Dunbar
Leslie Nielsen ... Mr. Dunbar
Ann Walker ... Mrs. Dunbar
James Sikking ... Bill Watson (as James B. Sikking)
Max Wright ... Dr. Aronson
Jeff Altman ... Ray McGrady
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Lisa Stimson
Maree Cheatham ... Mrs. Dorothy Watson (as Marie Cheatham)
Wallace Langham ... Barky Brewer (as Wally Ward)
Eric Schiff Eric Schiff ... Booey Fraser
Ron Reagan Ron Reagan ... Frank
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Storyline

Mark doesn't expect any problems in going to college: he and his friend have reserved places in Harvard and his parents have the money to pay for his education there. But suddenly his father's neurotic psychiatrist advises him to go on vacation in Hawaii instead of spending more money on his son. Since Mark wants to keep his lifestyle, including a fancy car and a flat shared with his friend, he seeks financial support. The only foundation which still accepts applications is for blacks only -- no problem, with lots of bronzing pills and "soul in his voice" he sets out to Harvard. Soon he has to realize that being black will cause some people to handle him differently. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He didn't give up. He got down. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Imposter See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,422,179, 26 October 1986

Gross USA:

$27,820,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,820,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

C. Thomas Howell and Rae Dawn Chong met on the set of this film, married, and later divorced. See more »

Goofs

About fifteen minutes into the picture, Mark and Gordon are seen traveling up Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, adjacent to the Harvard campus, and suddenly, they're not on Mass. Ave. anymore, they're on Quincy St., a couple blocks away. Then, just as suddenly, they're right back on Mass Ave., again proceeding through Harvard Square, just as they were before. See more »

Quotes

Professor Banks: Some of you may have had easy lives up until now. Some of you may not. Life this semester won't be *easy* for any of you. Your grades in your first year of law school can determine your entire future in the law.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Final Cut (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Outside
By John Smith
Performed by Nu Shooz
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Great entertainment with something to say
13 August 2003 | by ALlewellyn1See all my reviews

When I started to watch this film I thought, not another teen movie. That's not to say it wasn't funny because it was hilarious but then something happened in the film as it began to give a message of racism in American society in particular(and the world by inference). The premise that a white student could become black just by using tanning pills is so ridiculous but if you get over that funny leap in belief and you give this film your time you will be rewarded with a sentimental love story with a anti-racist message and what's more, the movie makes you think- what if I were black? Would I be treated like that just on the basis of the colour(or color as you Americans spell it) of my skin?

The main character Howell comes across as a bit of a j***k, pardon my language, at first but you see him mature with what he sees happening around him. His self importance disappears with every racist moment and we are left with not a broken man as maybe someone who had to put up with it all through their life (a Black person) but because he can go back to being seen as important in society (i.e. a white man) he is left enriched by the experience and an infinitely better person. The love angle is very well portrayed especially by two people who actually went on to get married after the movie in real life which just shows the chemistry between them on screen. The only thing after seeing this movie that I can see wrong with it is its competing ideas and themes- you are not sure what you have watched, was it a teen movie, love story, drama or anti-racist 'propaganda'. Personally as someone who likes all those types of movies I think it is the my greatest modern movie of all time. 10/10


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