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The Five Heartbeats (1991)

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The story of the rise and fall of an African American vocal group.

Director:

Robert Townsend
Reviews
1 win. 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The scene where Big Red beats up and dangles a singer out of a window over royalties is alleged to have actually happened to Jackie Wilson. 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!
See more »

Connections

Features Video Soul (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Middle
Written by K. Jones, K. Salas, D. Austin & K. Phillips
Produced by George Duke & Steve Tyrell
Performed by Flash and The Five Heartbeats
Lead Vocals by Demetrius Harvey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful film!!!!
28 January 2004 | by twg4See all my reviews

This is a great film. It displays the passion and purity if music during that time and a real world depiction of the music world even today. Robert Townsend did a wonderful job of taken the story of a great group and telling it in a "cinemagraphic" manner. By far one of the best biographical films to date.


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