Chameleon Street is a 1989 independent movie written, directed and starred by Wendell B. Harris Jr. It I about a social chameleon who impersonates doctors, reporters and lawyers to scam people. It is based on the life experiences of Erik Dupin and William Douglas Street, Jr.
Chameleon Street is a Sundance Jury Prizewinning movie that could not get a distributor to release it. It doesn’t have any graphic content. It was not arty as well. But the problem was that the documentary was delivered by a sharp-witted black man.
Wendell B. Harris Jr. spoke every piece of dialogue as the lead actor representing Doug Street was on screen. According to the film, he has performed more than 36 successful hysterectomies. In a press release by the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, the movie was described as one of the first movies that examined how race, class, and role playing morph into the social fabric of the nation.
Chameleon Street is a funny dark comedy with sophisticated humor. A lot of people don’t know about this, which is why it remained a sleeper for a long time. A lot of critics say that it belongs up with the likes of Clockwork Orange.
Steven Soderbergh said that he has never seen a film like Chameleon Street. Harris said that a company wanted to remake the whole movie with then budding actor Will Smith in the lead role. If it went through, then Chameleon Street would have been the first movie to be remade in its native language so that it could get distribution.
In 1989, Chameleon Street featured an early example of hip-hop editing, where a certain quote is looped several times. It is a type of movie that is still fresh even if you watch it today. It can watch it via Amazon Instant Video for $9.