The Five Heartbeats
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Get ready to be rocked to your soul by The Five Heartbeats! This Motown-flavored masterpiece is the story of five young friends drawn together by music. Their dream of success takes them from amateur nights in ghetto clubs to the pinnacle of show business success and personal tragedy.
Few things can be more noble than a wholehearted effort to tell the story of black secular music in America, especially through the eyes of a mid-20th century rhythm-and-blues vocal group breaking through race barriers to popular success. Comedian and filmmaker Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats (1991) is one such ambitious effort. If its story frequently sags under epochal burdens, the film makes up for it with a surprisingly tough look at the music business and classy appearances by Diahann Carroll and hoofer Harold Nicholas. Townsend plays one-fifth of the titular act, whose collective life and times we follow from 1965 to the 1990s, through friendships, break-ups, and re-groupings. The director's script, cowritten with Keenen Ivory Wayans, is wobbly and short on good material for the women in the cast. But several of the male actors are quite strong, particularly John Canada Terrell as an original Heartbeats replacement. --Tom Keogh
- Robert Townsend profile (2 min.)
- Featurette (4.5 min.)
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Top Customer Reviews
I use to think that this kind of movie should have more antagonists and accidents.
Yes there are some bad things happend to this singing group but not enough.
But that didn't bother much for this movie to be great.
Like other bands, this Five Heartbeats was found by some promoter and had a chance to recond their first single.
It seemed that the success will be so easy.
The group was based on the friendship. They were all frinds.
But one of the guy who is a lead singer was an addict and couldn't sustain anymore.
The team had their first crisis.
They had to hire a new lead singer.
Then they kept going.
They hit the billboard chart. And the fame was smiling at them.
But then the new lead singer wanted to be a solo.
Then one of the member who is a brother happens to steal another member's girlfriend who is a younger brother of his.
The younger one quite the team.
Then the team was gone like blown in the wind.
The fame was simple and the broke up was even simpler.
The movie actually begins with an old guy who is one of the member sitting by the sea recollecting his old memories.
When one of the member meets the other friend at the church, he tells the friend that now is the time to forgive his brother.
He goes to his brother who now married to his ex-girlfriend.
The end up with having a party at a house.
There they all sing and dance once and for all as an old FIVE HEARTBEATS incluse the leadsinger who was an addict once.
For them the friendship and forgiveness and reteam up is more important then fame, money and above.
This movie has nothing extreme or something totally original but has a warm heart that make you love all the way.
It has a heart of an Afro-American. A big hug.
You shouldn't miss if you like music especially R/B Soul.
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