5.7/10
2,386
29 user 3 critic

Carbon Copy (1981)

When a rich white corporate executive finds out that he has an illegitimate black son, things start falling apart for him at home, at work, and in his social circles.

Director:

Michael Schultz

Writer:

Stanley Shapiro
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Walter Whitney
Susan Saint James ... Vivian Whitney
Jack Warden ... Nelson Longhurst
Dick Martin ... Victor Bard
Denzel Washington ... Roger Porter
Paul Winfield ... Bob Garvey
Macon McCalman ... Tubby Wederholt
Vicky Dawson ... Mary Ann
Parley Baer ... Dr. Bristol
Vernon Weddle Vernon Weddle ... Wardlow
Edward Marshall Edward Marshall ... Freddie
Ed Call Ed Call ... Basketball Father
Angelina Estrada Angelina Estrada ... Bianca
Carmen Filpi ... Wino
Warren Munson ... 2nd Guard
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Storyline

A white corporate executive is surprised to discover that he has a black teen-age son who can't wait to be adopted into the almost exclusively white community of San Marino, California. Written by K. Rose <rcs@texas.net> and horrendous punctuation corrected by Brooks

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Any resemblance between Father and Son is purely hysterical. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cara do Pai See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,566,593

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,566,593
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of four 1981 movies, and all comedies, in which Jack Warden featured. The films include So Fine (1981), Carbon Copy (1981), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and Chu Chu and the Philly Flash (1981). See more »

Goofs

When Walter pulls in to park and hits the parking meter, he reverses and parks. The car is visibly outside of the parking lane lines. After the cut, he gets out of the car and the car is within the parking lane lines. See more »

Quotes

Walter Whitney: How much did you pay for this car?
Roger Porter: 14 dollars and a record player.
Walter Whitney: You were robbed!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The New York Ripper (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Gonna Get Closer to You
Music by Bill Conti
Lyrics by Paul Williams
Performed by Dan Seals (as England Dan Seals)
See more »

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User Reviews

Very funny and politically incorrect, with lessons
1 August 2006 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

Walter Whitney has a mansion in San Marino and a great job that comes with a Rolls Royce and numerous credit cards. Hisd life isn't quite perfect, since his uptight wife Vivian won't let him touch her or even let him see her without her clothes on. And her daughter Mary Ann won't accept Walter as her father, even though he adopted her when he married her mother. Mary Ann considers herself to be engaged to her boyfriend, but apparently this isn't important enough to tell Walter.

Nelson, Vivian's father and Walter's boss, has a talk with Walter because he is concerned that his daughter isn't happy. But this is the least of Walter's problems. It seems that when he was in college at Northwestern, Walter lived with a black woman. And that woman's son Roger is here to see him. His mother is now deceased, and Roger feels the need to find his father. Guess who it is!

The opening credits said "Introducing Denzel Washington". This respected and usually serious actor comes across more like Will Smith in TV's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"--appealing, smart-alecky, intelligent though apparently not book-smart (and we know Smith progressed from that image to a career similar to Washington's, though in less serious roles). Washington does show potential here, though it's not immediately obvious he will someday win an Oscar. He does comedy well, but he also has at least one fine dramatic scene.

But this is not "Fresh Prince". On that show, only Carlton and Hilary thought they were better than everyone else. Their parents never forgot where they came from. In this movie, Vivian, Mary Ann, Nelson, and even the family doctor and pastor think blacks are inferior, and that Walter has done something unthinkable. And wait until you find out the hilarious consequences!

Most of the leading actors here give good performances. Dick Martin is funny as Walter's pot-smoking best friend and lawyer, and Paul Winfield does a good job as another lawyer.

One of the many highlights: Roger's '59 Chevy, which makes Al Bundy's Dodge Dart look like a BMW. The only movie car more pathetic that I can remember was one of the cop cars in "Smokey and the Bandit", but that was only after numerous wrecks.

And you have to see how Walter and Vivian solved their difficulties in the bedroom!

Eventually, lessons about prejudice are learned, but not by all. Those who don't think there should be racial prejudice should keep in mind what was said about Archie Bunker. We learn prejudice is wrong by making fun of it.

The ending was not neat and tidy, but it showed promise.

This was very good.


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