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Soul Man Details


An ambitious but spoiled rich white kid wins a scholarship to Harvard Law School by pretending to be African-American in this broadly played comedy. After his father cuts him off financially, Mark Watson (C. Thomas Howell) wins a full tuition scholarship to Harvard by claiming to be African-American on the application form. With the help of his best friend, Gordon (Arye Gross), Mark acquires some bronzing pills, a new hairdo, and a lowered voice. Disguised as a black student, Mark thinks that he's going to breeze through the program. The reality of being a minority at a mostly white institution quickly catches up to him, however, when he encounters some tacit racism and falls for Sarah Walker (Rae Dawn Chong), a fellow student whose affection makes him feel guilty about his ruse. Then there's the imperious Professor Banks (James Earl Jones), an African-American instructor who expects him to perform at a higher level than the other students. Soul Man was written by Carol Black and directed by Steve Miner, who would collaborate again for the popular television series Steve Miner (1988-1993). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:October 24, 1986


C. Thomas Howell
as Mark Watson
Arye Gross
as Gordon Bloomfield
Rae Dawn Chong
as Sarah Walker
James Earl Jones
as Prof. Banks
Melora Hardin
as Whitney Dunbar
Leslie Nielsen
as Mr. Dunbar
James B. Sikking
as William Watson
Max Wright
as Dr. Aronson
Jeff Altman
as Ray McGrady
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as Lisa Stinson
Amy Stock-Poynton
as Girl in Bed
M.C. Gainey
as Man in Cell
Donald Hotton
as Mr. Wicher
Linda Hoy
as Mrs. Sherwood
Ann Walker
as Mrs. Dunbar
Paul F. O'Brien
as Officer Schkolnick
Wally Ward
as Barky Brewer
Freddie Dawson
as D.J.
David Reynolds
Melissa Skoff
Jonathan Wise
as Andrew


Steve Miner
Donna Smith
Steve Tisch
Neal Marlens
Carol Black
Tom Scott
Composer (Music Score)
David Finfer
Don Diers
Production Designer
Gregg Fonseca
Production Designer
Neal Marlens
Carol Black
Bernie Goldmann
Associate Producer
Dorree Cooper
Set Designer
Sharon Simonaire
Costume Designer