10 user 11 critic

Only the Strong Survive (2002)

1:45 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A film featuring the veteran soul music artists and music of Stax Records.
1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The War Room (1993)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it.

Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Heather Beckel
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This is a documentary about the musical artists who performed the songs in the Coen Brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Directors: Nick Doob, Chris Hegedus, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, Evelyn Cox
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to ... See full summary »

Director: Sheldon Lettich
Stars: Mark Dacascos, Stacey Travis, Geoffrey Lewis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: Philip Bosco, Carol Burnett, Jane Connell
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Between 2013 and 2015, a group of nonprofit attorneys seek nonhuman clients for whom they can advocate in two U.S. territories, in order to establish legal personhood for elephants, cetaceans and nonhuman apes in the U.S.

Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Wild I (2014)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Documentary | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

Director: Fisher Stevens
Stars: Elon Musk, Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon
Energy War (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker, and 1 more credit »
DeLorean (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1973, John DeLorean was most likely going to be the next president of General Motors, when he turned his back on his $650,000 a year job and focused on a grander dream... to build his ... See full summary »

Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: John DeLorean, Dick Brown, Chuck Bennington


Cast overview, first billed only:
Carla Thomas ...
The Chi-Lites ...
Ann Peebles ...
Jaye Michael Davis ...
Don Bryant ...
Luther Ingram ...
Joyce Moore ...
Jon Tiver ...
Gail Webb ...


Stax Records launched the careers of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla & Rufus Thomas, and Booker T. & The MGs back in the 1960s and 70s. But then disco hit big and all but wiped soul music off the map. This documentary harkens back to the golden era of soul and catches up with the carriers of the Stax dynasty, including Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Isaac Hayes, and The Chi Lites. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A celebration of soul.


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language and a drug reference | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 August 2003 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Csak az erősek élik túl  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$22,035 (USA) (9 May 2003)


$57,322 (USA) (4 July 2003)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Soul Survivor
Written by Dan Penn, Jon Tiven and Sally Tiven
Performed by Wilson Pickett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Entertaining Retrospective that's a Must for Soul Music Fans.
23 June 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Fans of soul music of the sixties and seventies will thank Miramax Films for bringing this work to the screen. Mogul Harvey Weinstein, who amasses a number of Oscars each year, including Chicago for 2002 Best Picture, could have made a lot more money with other films. I suspect he loves this music as much as I do, and he appears briefly in the movie.

Legends Jerry Butler, Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Isaac Hayes, the Chilites (all original members) and Carla Thomas are seen as they are now in their early sixties. This picture was made in 1999, and Rufus Thomas, who appears in the film, passed away in 2001 at 84. They perform their vintage hit songs, are interviewed, and reminisce about their early days with Stax Records, Motown's competitor. All are doing well, although they've gained weight. Jerry Butler, the Iceman, sings his classics: the title song and For Your Precious Love. We learn he returned to college in his fifties, and is now a Commissioner in Chicago. Hayes (Shaft) and Butler retain their strong, rich voices. We're also treated to a cameo archive of Otis Redding.

This film reminds me of its close relative, Standing in the Shadow of Motown. That work is richer in exploring the lives of cast members, and elicits from them more heartfelt emotions of what it was like socially, politically and musically to grow up in Detroit in the 1960s. The locale here is Memphis. That movie, however, focuses less on the hit singers, but on the outstanding back-up band, the Funk Brothers. This show features more songs by original artists, but shorter versions of each, whereas Standing includes younger performers doing the complete soundtrack of just a few Motown classics like Heat Wave. Each picture powerfully recreates that wonderful era of soul music in our own salad days.

If there's a film maker who wants to complete the trilogy, he could focus next on the Philadelphia sound of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, Archie Bell and the Drells, MFSB, the O'Jays, Stylistics, Three Degrees, Lou Rawls, etc. I'm waiting eagerly.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
does any one know?? minigeez
Discuss Only the Strong Survive (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page