The Fighting Temptations (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  19 September 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 5,632 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 60 user | 38 critic | 32 from

A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nigel Washington ...
Little Darrin
Little Lilly
Ann Nesby ...
Aunt Sally Walker
Maryann Hill
Bessie Cooley
Rosalie Washington ...
Faye Jenkins
Ricky Dillard ...
Choir Director
Larry John Meyers ...
Homer T. (as L. John Myers)
Herself (as Reverend Shirley Caesar)
Paulina Pritchett (as LaTanya Richardson)
Reverend Lewis
Homer T.


A New York advertising executive who is about to land a big account, has his life shaken up when it becomes known that he has lied about having a college degree. After being fired, his life is further shaken by his debtors who had counted on paying after landing the account. Having to go on the run, he is called back to his southern town roots, when his great aunt dies. At the reading of the will, he learns he has been asked to assume the mantle of choir director of his great aunt's church and if he can get the choir in the Gospel Explosion in Atlanta, he will inherit stock worth $150,000. Unfortunately the choir leaves a lot to be desired and he has to start recruiting. Among others, he gets three prisoners to join. More importantly, he gets a "sinner" from one of the local night clubs to join. While initially scorned and resisted, nonetheless her voice wins everyone but the hardcore church busybody. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't fight the feeling. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kísértés két szólamban  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,758,372 (USA) (19 September 2003)


£272,886 (UK) (19 December 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Other than Darrin's marriage proposal, Darrin and Lilly never state their love (or true feelings) towards each other at all in the film. See more »


At the end of the scene where the choir sings, "Rain Down", Darrin mouths "Call His name" when the rest of the choir sings "Praise His name". See more »


Nancy Stringer: I can' believe I was gonna sleep with you.
See more »


References Roots (1977) See more »


The Fighting Temptations Medley
Consisting of
"Down By The Riverside"
"Fighting Temptation"
"Time To Come Home"
"Come Back Home"
"I'm Getting Ready"
"The Stone"
"Loves Me Like A Rock"
"He Still Loves Me"
Medley sequence created by Loretha Jones and Kenn Michael
See more »

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User Reviews

White 2 Black
1 June 2007 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

To my surprise, this was not a movie about the Temptations.

This is one of those cute "black" movies that makes white people wish they were black so they could have so much fun -- and I don't necessarily mean that in a cynical way. Others that come to mind are "The Preacher's Wife", "The Five Heartbeats"... I like movies like this, if only for relief from always seeing the same white actors on screen.

Of course, just like all Hollywood movies, it is total fantasy, and this one even more so seeing as it it was made by MTV (just check out the number of deleted music sequences on the DVD!).

And if you love gospel music (even some who don't), you will love this movie, despite the fact that it looks like the songs were written first and a script later to patch them all together, taking many shameless cues from "Sister Act" -- both One and Two.

The script is pretty lame in many parts -- mostly with Cuba Gooding's lines -- and the punch depends on the goings-on of mostly bit parts. LaTanya Richards as Paulina is extremely convincing as the self-righteous church treasurer, but there are no really strong protagonists (the only one around dies in the first fifteen minutes) so she pretty much controls the plot single- handedly.

The movie is all about cameos. Cameos, cameos cameos!! Even Shirley Caeser plays (who else?) herself ! ! They might as well have called Beyonce Beyonce and Cuba Cuba.

One other good thing I can say for the movie is the positive mixing of races it shows, among so many movies that tend to show mainly conflict among them. In my experience, the kind of mixing as shown in this movie is the real world, rather than the 99.9% black "Preacher's Wife", or for that matter 100% whiteness of so many movies. Sure, it may be fantasy (there is absolutely no racial tension present in this movie despite so much mingling), but I root for the positive image it projects.

If you are a cynic, this movie is not for you, but if you need some warm fuzzies, go for it!

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