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That Soul Man movie from 1986...


I don’t doubt for a second that everybody had the best of intentions when they made this picture. HOWEVER, it’s a shock even to see the trailer now. Check it out…



I’m ashamed to say I remember wanting to see this back in the day but watching this I’m glad I missed out !


“It’s the Cosby decade” is the line time-travelling producers maybe want removed from that trailer…



Hahaha very true.


Ah it’s not that bad.
I still find it hilarious.

Like Peter Sellers in The Party:

Or RDJ in Tropic Thunder:

Offensive? Maybe to some but speaking as a person of colour, people need to lighten the hell up. (See what I did there?)


Don’t worry, the Wayans brothers got their revenge:


Now that one I did see sadly.


The premise of Soul Man is actually pretty interesting and could lend itself to some funny bits. It looks like they screwed up by casting a guy who couldn’t look or act convincingly black in a million years. Also, playing up the romance angle rather than playing with stereotypes and sociopolitical satire just makes the movie look wishy washy, an excuse to get a guy into blackface.


I saw that in days of yore via a VHS rental. Boxing Helena was another film from that era that is never repeated…


There was a lot of bad crap like that. I have, to this day, managed to avoid most of it.

Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream were actually much better than their titles.


Blaxploitation cinema gave us some really good movies though, with positive male role models and strong female leads.

One Down, Two To Go…

Black Belt Jones

Foxy Brown

And Shaft…

Tarantino’s style was heavily influenced by these movies (see Jackie Brown and True Romance) And of course, it gave us cool contemporary versions:

Black Dynamite

and the Shaft remake…

Anyway, if you haven’t watched these films, I strongly recommend checking them out. You might enjoy 'em. If not, it’ll add to your SJW credentials :smirk:


I remember watching Soul Man on TV a hundred years ago. It was… well, it was an eighties comedy. I was so far removed from American race politics when I was fourteen or so that I don’t think I thought it particularly strange.


I’ve seen a fair number of those, mostly when I was probably far young to be watching them. Growing up in Ireland in the 1980’s, anything happening in America was strange and exotic anyway, so any racial politics were probably lost on me at the time.

The original Shaft is still a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine (and strangely something that I like to watch at Easter every year for reasons far too contrived to explain).

I liked the Samuel L Fury Shaft, thought it had a great cast, but wished that they were all in a better movie.

With some of the old Blaxploitation movies, I’ve always felt that the soundtracks are far, far better than the movies that spawned them. The Shaft soundtrack has the iconic (and Oscar winning) twangy guitar theme. It has the Memphis Horns on it for crying out loud. Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack for Superfly was more apparently more financially successful that the movie.


Richard Roundtree and I graduated from the same university.


Remember this from 1970?
Strangely, it was one of my favorite movies as a young kid.

Watermelon Man is a 1970 American comedy-drama film, directed by Melvin Van Peebles. Written by Herman Raucher, it tells the story of an extremely bigoted 1960s era White insurance salesman named Jeff Gerber, who wakes up one morning to find that he has become Black. The premise for the film was inspired by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and by John Howard Griffin’s autobiographical Black Like Me.


I don’t find that all that strange. If somebody walked up to me and said, hey, which of this movies was Jonny C’s favourite movie as a kid? Here’s a Disney movie with dogs, and here’s a Pink Panther movie, and here’s one based on Kafka’s metamorphosis and the biography of a dude passing himself off as a black guy - well, I definitely would have picked the last one.


I remember getting Soul Man out on video when I was a kid. The fact that it was a 15 didn’t matter in those days, they were so lax.

Probably wouldn’t get away with it nowadays but I dont think it was malicious in any way.

I do remember thinking the scene where both teams wanted him for first pick at basketball was really funny, beyond that I don’t remember much about it other than he was trying to get into law school or something.


I remember the part where he dressed in fatigues and a beret because he thought all black men must be political militants.


Yup they were…


SJW and blaxploitation? Really? Blaxploitation rose from Black Americans wanting to see themselves win in movies. It has nothing to do with modern denigration of social agitation, or the outrage culture on both side of the keyboard. Really, I’m glad as hell, the folks during the Civil Rights Movement and Gay Rights Movement didn’t sit down and shut up and not make a fuss like so many people wanted them to do.

So yes, it does have roots in Social Justice from people who grew up during segregation, who saw the shit. Unless it’s part of a class on inter-sectional social movements, I doubt they’ll show up on reddit, or wherever the current reductive discussions live.