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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 »

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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

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 »
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

Big Red: Tell Jimmy he can't hide.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Are You Ready for Me
Written by Bruce Sudano & Eddie Hokenson
Produced by George Duke & Steve Tyrell
Performed by Flash & The Ebony Sparks
Lead Vocals by Demetrius Harvey
See more »

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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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