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Higher Learning (1995)

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People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.


John Singleton


John Singleton
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Epps ... Malik Williams
Kristy Swanson ... Kristen Connor
Michael Rapaport ... Remy
Jennifer Connelly ... Taryn
Ice Cube ... Fudge
Jason Wiles ... Wayne
Tyra Banks ... Deja
Cole Hauser ... Scott Moss
Laurence Fishburne ... Professor Maurice Phipps
Bradford English Bradford English ... Officer Bradley
Regina King ... Monet
Busta Rhymes ... Dreads (as Busta Rhymez)
Jay R. Ferguson ... Billy (as Jay Ferguson)
Andrew Bryniarski ... Knocko
Trevor St. John ... James


Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Read between the borders See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and sexuality, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was heavily cut upon its release, eliminating much of the romantic relationship between Jennifer Connelly and Kristy Swanson's characters, including the resolution to it, along with more scenes involving the neo-Nazis and the other groups' activities and relationships going throughout the university. See more »


Malik competes in track meets. The film takes place in the fall semester. Track in universities is a spring sport. See more »


[Remy is holding his roommate and Malik at gunpoint]
Remy: Fuck all you damn Jews and Niggers! You stick together, don't you! You stick together to work against ME, the Pure White Christian Man! Don't you know he controls you, nigger? You're nothing without him. You're NOTHING! You're NOTHING! You're a SLAVE! I'll fucking take my fucking belt off, man, and I'll make you my fucking MONKEY!
Remy: [to David] Get on the floor.
David Isaacs: Remy, please.
Remy: ON THE FLOOR! You're not white! You're Jewish! You're NOTHING! You're ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unlearn [appears in movie's closing shot, instead of "The End"] See more »


Referenced in All Eyez on Me (2017) See more »


Written and Produced by Simon Bartholomew, Andrew Levy, N'Dea Davenport and Jan Kincaid
Performed by The Brand New Heavies
The Brand New Heavies appear courtesy of Delicious Vinyl, Inc. (U.S./Canada) and London Records 90 Limited (Outside U.S./Canada)
N'Dea Davenport appears courtesy of Delicious Vinyl, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Worst movie ever.
29 October 2007 | by hoax_wilmathSee all my reviews

I wish Singleton would keep his obvious bias racially feelings out of his movies and just make a movie that's real, instead of this laughable, trite garbage.

Example: In the movie 'Boyz In The Hood', Laurence Fishburne is giving a speech to his son and son's buddy and says "Why do you think there's a liquor store and gun store on every single corner in black neighborhoods? I'll tell you why. Because they want us to kill ourselvs." Yes, I can see how movies with black people suggesting evil white people are conspiring to kill all black people by "making them kill each other" will advance race relations.

As for Higher Learning, I think the title should have been shortened to 'High'. One must be very high to watch a movie like this and feel 'enlightened' by the end of the movie.

Let's see, basically all white males in this movie are either one of two things: Very bad or very weak. All black people are either cool, heroic, intelligent or victims.

Whites in this movie: The evil racist campus security, the evil white jock rapist, the weak white hippy who tries his hardest to understand Malik but Malik turns him down, the weak Jewish roommate who shits his pants like a little girl when Remmy pulls a gun on him, yet Malik plays it cool of course, and of course the oh so very evil and BAAAAD nazi skinheads! Oh yes, nazi skinheads are just killing black people daily in college campuses and all over the country. And of course the skinheads are very weak and stupid like Remmy.

Blacks in the movie: Laurence Fishurne as a wise professor, the strong black woman "I don't take no buuuulllshit" roommate, Ice Cube's cool street smart character, Malik's "struggle" to find himself in an evil white man's world, Tyra Bank's intelligent character who becomes a victim, Busta' Rhymes beating up two skinheads at one time etc etc.

What a bunch of laughable and ridiculous clichés. Singleton definitely has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to white people. This movie was every bit as racist as any pro nazi skinhead documentary. Worst movie ever made.

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