A Soldier's Story
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Inspired by the Herman Melville novel Billy Budd, writer Charles Fuller created the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play, which he then adapted into this film drama in 1984, for socially conscious, liberal director Norman Jewison. In the racially-divided 1940s, Fort Neal, Louisiana, is a military base where black soldiers are sent not to fight in WWII but to play baseball against other armed forces teams. The murder of a black sergeant, Waters (Adolph Caesar) brings an investigator, Captain Davenport (Howard E. Rollins, Jr.) to the base. Davenport, the first black officer that most of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Jewison's lack of interest in developing anything other than his rather debatable ideological point relegates the film to the realm of moderately competent TV drama."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A powerful and arresting drama."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"Occasionally preachy, but otherwise intense and provocative racially provocative drama"
‑ Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide
"The film really belongs to Adolph Caesar who excels as a tyrannical, vicious and masochistic army sergeant."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Strongly written and performec."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Charles Fuller adapated to the big screen his powerful Pulitzer prize winning play about the murder of a black captain. Directed by Norman Jewison, the movie is well acted but it's too verbose."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Reveals the virulence of racism"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for A Soldier's Story on Rotten Tomatoes