7.6/10
3,669
38 user 15 critic

The Five Heartbeats (1991)

R | | Drama, Music | 29 March 1991 (USA)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
The story of the rise and fall of an African American vocal group.

Director:

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

Videos

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

De La Soul sampled the "Why do we have to cross over?/Why are niggas always crossing over, huh?/I mean, what's the matter?/They can accept our music as long as they can't see our faces?" dialogue for their song "Patti Dooke" from their 1993 album "Buhloone Mindstate." See more »

Goofs

When Eddie's dad is telling him he will not amount to anything you can see that his moustache is falling off of his face. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Boomerang: Call a Spade (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
Written by Mildred J. Hill & Patty S. Hill
Performed by The Five Heartbeats, Theresa Randle (as Brenda) & Carla Brothers (as Tanya]
See more »

User Reviews

Greatest African American i've seen!
19 November 2004 | by britdog082004See all my reviews

I have the DVD of this movie and it is moving. It shows all races black and white that if you want something to keep working toward it and never give up. This movie really touched me and gave me a new outlook on my life and the things that i do. Where are the great writers like the ones who wrote this story? We need to be giving them all of the credit and praise because they are the ones who believed that the world should see how black music began and evolved into what is the most dominant music in America. We have had problems over the years with the really bad music and the really great music. This shows that black people lots of talent and much more charisma and can truly ACT.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Five Heartbeats See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,630,689, 31 March 1991

Gross USA:

$8,750,400

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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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