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The Temptations


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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Malik Whitfield, D.B. Woodside, Terron Brooks, Christian Payton, Leon
  • Directors: Allan Arkush
  • Writers: Kevin Arkadie, Robert Johnson
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Deborah Edell Underwood, Helen Robin, Jay Benson, Otis Williams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2001
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (518 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NSXV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,189 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Temptations" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 8 Original Motown Recordings

Editorial Reviews

The soap-opera career of Motown's most successful group, the Temptations, lends credence to the old belief that great art comes from troubled lives. Over three decades, the band struggled through numerous ego trips, countless members, broken relationships, coke addiction, alcoholism, suicide, cancer, deadly arthritis--in short, all the melodramatic devices necessary for a TV miniseries. This two-and-a-half-hour docudrama touches on all of these personal tragedies, but unfortunately forgets the real reason for the strength of the story: the music. Sure, there's wonderful reenactments of the quintet's finest material, such as "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "The Way You Do the Things You Do," all performed with the slick choreography and shimmering vocal harmonies that made the band legendary. But, unfortunately, director Allan Arkush (Rock and Roll High School) and writers Kevin Arkadie and Robert Johnson forget to put the music into any historical perspective. Why were the Temptations so important? What was their contribution to pop music? By watching this saccharine, manipulative expos�, you'd never know. The performances are nonetheless terrific, especially Charles Malik Whitfield as leader (and narrator) Otis Williams, D.B. Woodside as his partner, Melvin Franklin, and Leon as the group's talented livewire, David Ruffin. The DVD edition offers several fine features including 2.0 Dolby Surround Sound, a discography, cast and crew profiles, extensive production notes, and most important, the ability to jump to any of the seven songs performed... basically the main reason to watch this epic. --Dave McCoy

Customer Reviews

The acting is just great, as well as the story and music!
Themba
Good to see this film on DVD...there are many copies of the video that are selling that show only the edited version of this movie.
The Fancy One
These guys as actors really make you feel like they were the original Temptations.
Beverly Stallworth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 133 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Okay, I just want to warn everybody that I am I die-hard Temptations fan, so I am bound to be critical of this movie...For the most part, I had no problem with the casting of the film. David Ruffin, who is portrayed by the actor Leon, is absolutely incredible. Same for newcomer Christian Payton, who played the supremely talented but tragedy-bound Paul Williams. My problem with the film is that a lot of it was "based on fact" and not the true story of the group. Only a true Temptation fan would know that, for instance, when the Tempts reunited for their tour in the 1980's, they did not play the Copa. The Copa would not have been big enough to hold all the people that came out for that one night only appearance. It was at NYC'S Radio City Music Hall, which was sold out! I should know because I was there. Also Melvin Franklin did not die in Detroit at his mom's house. He died in a hospital in Los Angeles. And another thing, the fight scene between Paul and Al Bryant (Chaz Lamar Shepard) was somewhat twisted...what happened in reality was that Paul and the other Tempts were the ones who were tired and didn't want to do any more encores, and Al was the one who wanted to go back out on stage. Paul and Al argued about it, and Al then attacked Paul with the beer bottle...Well, even with all these faults, I still felt misty eyed by the end of the film. For new Tempts fans, I'd recommend it, but it's not the true story...we old Tempts fans are just glad to see something done on the greatest male R&B group EVER. Even with its faults, it's still an engaging film...especially the scene with the guys debuting at the Copa in '67. They really looked like the originals!!!!
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Tarcia Bush on March 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This was truly one of the best movies I have ever seen. I stumbled upon it one Sunday night when it premiered and was hooked. I was not around during the height of their career, but was very familiar with their music. I am now a fan for life.
The lip synching, dancing, everything was so real. Terron Brooks (Eddie Kendricks) and Leon (David Ruffin) played their characters excellently! In fact, all of the characters were great!
I have watched this movie over and over again. You don't have to be a fan of the group or their music to find this movie entertaining.
But I would like to know why this movie was edited from the version that aired on T-V. If anyone has a copy of that version, please email me. I will gladly pay for a copy.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone! I loved it!
If you've seen it, my favorite line is Leon as David Ruffin telling "Otis" and "Melvin" why the group should be called David Ruffin and the Temptations... "ain't nobody comin' to see you Otis." I love the way he says that line.
Enjoy!
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
This is a lengthy, made for television, feature film that runs nearly three hours. The time will zoom by, as this is an engaging, well-acted production about one of Motown's earliest successes, "The Temptations". The story of this group is told primarily through the eyes of Otis Williams, one of its founding fathers and the true linchpin of the group, as well as its last surviving member. The film details the group's struggle for success from its down and out early days to the pinnacle of success and its eventual induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The songs that propelled "The Temptations" to stardom are capably lip-synched by its talented cast. The viewer sees the beginning of the group in the nineteen fifties and its subsequent rise to fame and fortune. After being signed up by Motown, the future of "The Temptations" was almost assured, given the resources that Motown's music mogul, Barry Gordy, allotted to their development. Once they were a success, crossover was inevitable for such a talented group, and "The Temptations" became a huge hit in mainstream America.

The film details the personal highs and lows of the individual members of the group. Alcoholism, drug use, egotism, and other personal travails would plague its members and, consequently, the group. At times, the group would appear to be on the verge of a total split, especially when its cocaine craving, lead singer, David Ruffin, began making ego fueled demands. Still, the temptations endured, because no one member was bigger than the group. They began as a group, and it is the group that would endure. Though individual members would come and go, the group itself always remained "The Temptations".

This is an excellent bio pic with great music. It is a film that is worthy of being in one's personal collection.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Fancy One on October 28, 2000
Format: DVD
Good to see this film on DVD...there are many copies of the video that are selling that show only the edited version of this movie. I wasn't even aware that parts of the film were cut out when it was released on video; quite a few people mentioned that they didn't get the movie in its entirety when they ordered their copies of the VHS. I was one of the fortunate ones who had the entire miniseries in tact. Needless to say, many people who unknowingly brought the edited VHS were disappointed.

But on DVD, the entire movie is included, with a few extra treats as well. I already reviewed this movie anonymously here on Amazon about two years ago, so I don't see the need to review it again. I will just say it's a very good biopic - even though much about this is fictionalized and very biased, because you only get only one side of the Temptations' story - Otis'. However, it has that wonderful Motown music that the world loves, and stunning performances. If you decide to get this, take it from me, DVD is the way to go.
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The Temptations movie
Interesting question. Perhaps a combination of artistic appeal and self promotion. No matter, the truth finds it's way home every time. TVOne is planning to air the movie this weekend (7/10/2011). I grew up with the Temps. When I watch the movie, it takes me back to a different era. The... Read More
Jul 6, 2011 by Zoey |  See all 10 posts
Terron Brooks as Eddie Hendricks
that is more than likely true he can sing
Jun 20, 2007 by favored girl |  See all 3 posts
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