How are the play and film A Solder's Play by Charles Fuller similar and how they different . In what area does the film succeed over the written play?

Both the stage and film versions of A Soldier's Play are extremely close in sharing the same narrative. The differences come in the way plays and films tell stories within their respective mediums. The film arguably succeeds over the play in regards to realism.

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On the whole, A Soldier's Story, the 1984 film adaptation of Charles Fuller's 1982 stage drama A Solider's Play, keeps close to the source material. No major changes were made to the plot or the characters in translating the action of the play to the screen. Differences between the two are minor in nature, such as changing the location of certain scenes (such as setting the interrogation of Private Henson in a chapel) or cutting down the prominence of the Andrews Sisters' song "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" (in the play, the song also opens and ends the story, while in the movie it is only featured in the scene where Sergeant Waters speaks about his hopes for his children).

The differences between the two largely feature in the storytelling techniques used. The play is more contained and interior, with the flashbacks being performed alongside the present-day action as each witness or potential suspect tells his story. This allows all of the actors to stay onstage at the same time without breaking the flow of the story. In the film, the flashbacks are rendered separate from the present-day action in the traditional cinematic matter. This is less avant-garde than in the play, but it is much more organic to film as a medium.

One might argue that the greater realism a movie brings as opposed to a play is a possible improvement. The movie "opens up" the play's action, allowing the audience to get a more intimate glimpse at life for the soldiers, from their attending religious services to interactions with whites. Of course, this greater realism and "opening up" does eliminate the claustrophobic, almost metafictional nature of the stage play, so it is more of a trade-off than an improvement.

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