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The Five Heartbeats (1991)

R | | Drama, Music | 29 March 1991 (USA)
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The story of the rise and fall of an African American vocal group.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Duck
...
Eddie
...
J.T.
...
Dresser
...
Choirboy
...
Eleanor Potter
Harold Nicholas ...
Sarge
...
Duck's Baby Sister
John Canada Terrell ...
Michael 'Flash' Turner
Chuck Patterson ...
Jimmy Potter
...
Big Red
...
Bird
...
Baby Doll (as Troy Beyer)
Carla Brothers ...
Tanya Sawyer
...
Rose
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Heartbeats  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,750,400 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lives of several performing R&B groups and artists inspired this film: The Dells, The Temptations, Frankie Lymon and Sam Cooke according to Robert Townsend in a Mademe Noir Interview. Townsend says the crux of the story was based on the breakup of the Temptations which was an event he took personally. See more »

Goofs

When Duck begins to play the piano at the talent show, the change of pace in the piano playing begins in the midst of Duck shoving the house player aside. See more »

Quotes

Sarge: Hold my cane. Step outside & I'll kick both of ya's ass like you stole something!
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Connections

References New American Bandstand 1965 (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

A Heart Is a House for Love
Written by Tristan Sigerson, Davitt Sigerson & Bob Thiele Jr.
Produced by George Duke & Steve Tyrell
Performed by The Five Heartbeats
Lead Vocals by Billy Valentine
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User Reviews

The racism was THERE!
26 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To the guy who questioned the racism in the movie.... you need to do a little homework, cause that was all truth. Although the movie was a fictionalized account, the racist elements shown were very much true.

The idea that it couldn't have taken place in the "60's", of all possible timeframes, is absurd and quite ludicrous. All of the major black acts from the 60's were subject to racism where they were treated poorly when off stage. ALL used the service entrance, or kitchen, to enter the venue in which they played. I'm talking Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, the temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder.... you name 'em.

The practice of fronting songs recorded by blacks with white groups was commonplace in the 50's-60's. Unfortunately, many racist whites didn't want their music to have a black face on it.

Do your homework prior to debunking historical fact.

The movie is THE all time music themed rags-to-riches film ever made.


39 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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