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The Fighting Temptations (2003)

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A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect.


Jonathan Lynn


Elizabeth Hunter (story), Elizabeth Hunter (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nigel Washington Nigel Washington ... Little Darrin
Chloe Bailey ... Little Lilly
Demetress Long Demetress Long ... Church Usher
Ann Nesby Ann Nesby ... Aunt Sally Walker
Faith Evans ... Maryann Hill
Melba Moore ... Bessie Cooley
Rosalie Washington Rosalie Washington ... Faye Jenkins
Ricky Dillard Ricky Dillard ... Choir Director
Larry John Meyers Larry John Meyers ... Homer T. (as L. John Myers)
Shirley Caesar ... Herself (as Reverend Shirley Caesar)
LaTanya Richardson Jackson ... Paulina Pritchett (as LaTanya Richardson)
Wendell Pierce ... Reverend Lewis
Lou Myers ... Homer T.
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Darrin Hill
Lourdes Benedicto ... Rosa Lopez


A New York advertising executive who is about to land a big account, has his life shaken up when it becomes known that he has lied about having a college degree. After being fired, his life is further shaken by his debtors who had counted on paying after landing the account. Having to go on the run, he is called back to his southern town roots, when his great aunt dies. At the reading of the will, he learns he has been asked to assume the mantle of choir director of his great aunt's church and if he can get the choir in the Gospel Explosion in Atlanta, he will inherit stock worth $150,000. Unfortunately the choir leaves a lot to be desired and he has to start recruiting. Among others, he gets three prisoners to join. More importantly, he gets a "sinner" from one of the local night clubs to join. While initially scorned and resisted, nonetheless her voice wins everyone but the hardcore church busybody. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't fight the feeling. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 September 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Borilačko iskustvo See more »

Filming Locations:

Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,758,372, 21 September 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,238,577, 21 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The church pews and minister's podium in the movie were taken from St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Atlanta and moved into a church in Senoia Georgia (the white one with the turret used in the exterior scenes). The minister's office, kitchen and the rehearsal space that's not the choir loft where they perform was filmed in the Atlanta church. St. Paul's used the money for allowing filming in the church to add air conditioning to the sanctuary. See more »


In the competition, the tall convict with the high pitched voice is handcuffed when he comes to the front of the stage. Moments later, he is dancing with one arm in front of him and one behind his back. From his sideways position, that would be impossible. See more »


[In church, Darrin's cell phone rings]
Reverend Lewis: Son, if that's ain't Jesus calling, shut it off.
See more »


Featured in Beyoncé Feat. Missy Elliott: Fighting Temptation (2003) See more »


Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Written by Wallis Willis
Arranged by Wayburn Dean and Keith Lancaster
Performed by Beyoncé
Produced by Loretha Jones and Beyoncé
Beyoncé performs courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Sloppy made movie. Still works somewhat as a feel good movie.
27 April 2006 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

This movie is a very sloppy one. The story is filled with some unlikely events and characters and the directing and especially editing is seriously flawed mostly. Still thanks to its music, this movie still has some entertainment value and also somewhat still works as a 'feel good movie'.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the movie is that the comedy and drama elements of the movie are not balanced out very well. At times the movie can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama. A result of this is that most of the comedy feels out of place and seriously mistimed. The movie becomes never funny to watch because of this but the warm feel good atmosphere of the movie still somewhat compensates for this.

Cuba Gooding Jr. seriously needs to start looking for another agent. I mean this is an Oscar winning actor but yet he appears in movies like "Chill Factor", "Pearl Harbor" and "Boat Trip"? I mean, what's up with that? He deserves to play better roles in better movies. This movie is also one of those movies in which he feels out of place. I know he can play comical roles well but in this movie he just never gets enough opportunity to show this. As a matter of fact, none of the characters in the movie work out or feel deep enough. The movie seems to concentrate more (and too much) on its music than on its characters and story in general. I seriously don't think that Beyoncé Knowles is a bad actress but just like Cuba, her role isn't significant- and present enough in the movie. Rue McClanahan also somehow got mixed up in this mess.

At times it just totally feels like entire sequences in the movie are missing. Lots of moments in the movie feel rushed and are not satisfying enough. The movie is a real sloppy job. You can't just blame the script for this but also the filmmakers involved. Yes, it's a real mess of a movie at times, that too often takes the easy simple road.

But yet the movie still works good thanks to its music. It makes the movie very pleasant to watch and therefor the movie still works good as a simple feel good movie. But that obviously doesn't mean that the movie itself is also a good one. The movie is too flawed in its story and way of film-making to consider this movie a good or totally recommendable one.

There still is enough to enjoy in this movie but the sloppy way of film-making and storytelling don't make this movie really a recommendable one. Perhaps this movie is a typical case of 'watch at your own risk'...chances are you might end up loving- or totally hating it.



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