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The Five Heartbeats (1991)

R | | Drama, Music | 29 March 1991 (USA)
1:25 | Trailer

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The story of the rise and fall of an African American vocal group.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eleanor Potter
Duck's Baby Sister
John Canada Terrell ...
Michael 'Flash' Turner
Chuck Patterson ...
Jimmy Potter
Baby Doll (as Troy Beyer)
Carla Brothers ...
Tanya Sawyer


In the early 1960's, a quintet of hopeful young African American men form an amateur vocal group called The Five Heartbeats. After an initially rocky start, the group improve, turn pro, and rise to become a top flight music sensation. Along the way however, the guys learn many hard lessons about the reality of the music industry with it's casual racism and greed while the personal weaknesses of the members threaten to destroy the integrity of the band. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Heartbeats  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


De La Soul sampled the "Why do we have to cross over?/Why are niggas always crossing over, huh?/I mean, what's the matter?/They can accept our music as long as they can't see our faces?" dialogue for their song "Patti Dooke" from their 1993 album "Buhloone Mindstate." See more »


In the theater scene where Eddie asks if a heart is a house for love, when he says "Stand Up", the audio is about a half-second faster than the visual motion. See more »


Eddie: Can't nobody sang like Eddie King Jr!
See more »


Oh What a Night
Written by Marvin Junior & Johnny Funches (as John Funches)
Performed by The Dells
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

One of the best black themed musicals movies ever made
31 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

The Five Heartbeats is clearly one of the best black musicals ever made. The songs are catchy, it has heart and humor. Robert Townsend is clearly one of the most talnted black directors of our time and he proved it with this film. Check it out for a good timne.

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