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American Harmony (2009)

 |  Documentary, Music  |  May 2009 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 54 users  
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Every year thousands compete in the world's greatest singing competition - that you've never heard of. AMERICAN HARMONY journeys deep into the ultra-obsessive, zany, and heartfelt world of ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Every year thousands compete in the world's greatest singing competition - that you've never heard of. AMERICAN HARMONY journeys deep into the ultra-obsessive, zany, and heartfelt world of competitive barbershop singing, where passion is equaled only by raw talent, and the reward is not fame or fortune, but simply victory. The film focuses on four quartets vying to win the International Championships of Barbershop Singing, in what turns out to be the closest and most controversial victory in its 70 year history. Max Q is the heavy favorite - a superstar quartet comprised of former Champions. Looking to upset them is OC Times (The Heart-Throbs), Vocal Spectrum (The Rookies) and Reveille, an aging foursome who that has been together for 30 years. In total, fifty quartets duke it out for the coveted gold medal, while facing the pressures of quartet life - from big egos to brain cancer and everything in between. Written by Colin King Miller

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The story of three very different quartets, each on a mission to win the most prestigious singing competition no one has ever heard of.

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Documentary | Music

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May 2009 (USA)  »

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$265,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Nice look at barbershop quartets and competitions
19 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"American Harmony" is a first-rate documentary of barbershop quartet singing. I'm not a particular follower of this type of music, but enjoy all kinds. I've enjoyed the shows I've attended and old films of vaudeville that have barbershop quartets. This film focuses on four groups over a three-year period. It follows them to regional and international competitions. It ends with the 2008 international event held at Denver. It is an interesting documentary about the genre, its history and its following.

One weakness of the film is that it has too much repetitive dialog. We see similar interviews with the same singers two, three and four times. It could have used more full scenes of singing early and throughout the film. We only see the top three or four groups sing a full number each at the end. The producers might have cut some of the repetitive interviews with the main characters. Adding some short comments from a few other singers would have broadened it a bit. Still, it's an interesting film.


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