A Soldier's Story

Norman Jewison recycles elements of his Academy Award-winning In the Heat of the Night for this didactic drama welded to a thriller format. The sadistic sergeant of a black platoon is murdered at a Georgia army base during World War II; a black officer (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) is sent to investigate, and encounters what appears to be a racist cover-up. Jewison's lack of interest in developing anything other than his rather debatable ideological point (somehow, it appears, this uppity black deserved to be killed) relegates the film to the realm of moderately competent TV drama. With Adolph Caesar; the disappointing score is by Herbie Hancock (1984).

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