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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.

Director:

Robert Townsend
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Townsend ... Duck
Michael Wright ... Eddie
Leon ... J.T.
Harry Lennix ... Dresser
Tico Wells Tico Wells ... Choirboy
Diahann Carroll ... Eleanor Potter
Harold Nicholas ... Sarge
Tressa Thomas ... Duck's Baby Sister
John Canada Terrell John Canada Terrell ... Michael 'Flash' Turner
Chuck Patterson Chuck Patterson ... Jimmy Potter
Hawthorne James ... Big Red
Roy Fegan ... Bird
Troy Byer ... Baby Doll (as Troy Beyer)
Carla Brothers Carla Brothers ... Tanya Sawyer
Deborah Lacey ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los Heartbeats See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,750,400
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Wright's character's name is popularly mispronounced as Eddie "Kane", or "Caine", because of the southern drawl. However, his name is actually Eddie King, Jr. See more »

Goofs

When JT and Flash are singing "Just in Case"; both of their mouths are moving when they recite the lyrics "... come back to me." Except only Flash's voice is actually heard. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References American Bandstand (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Just in Case
Written & Produced by Tena Clark
Performed by Flash and The Five Heartbeats
Lead Vocals by Howard Johnson & Demetrius Harvey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Music
9 October 2006 | by gordonurqSee all my reviews

This is such a wonderful, underrated film. Everyone I recommend it to looks at me like I'm crazy until they watch it and become total fans. One of the many delights about the Five Heartbeats is the soundtrack. The songs were written, performed and recorded with such attention to period detail they sound like they really come from the years of the movie. And most of them are great songs anyway. If they had been "real" they would be classics today. A Heart is a House for Love which was actually sung by the Dells, made it to #13 on the R&B charts. Most of the music came from Stanley Clarke, the brilliant bassist and composer. But Thom Bell, one of the originators of TSOP, contributed importantly too, including one of his old songs for the Delfonics. There are so many cool moments in this film. Michael Wright and Hawthorne James offer stand- out performances in a great cast. The Five Heartbeats is easily Robert Townsends best film.


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