Five Heartbeats, The (1991, Robert Townsend, Michael Wright)

Poster for the movie ""
121 min - Drama, Music - 29 March 1991
Our rating:

Backstage comedy/drama The Five Heartbeats follows the ups and downs of a fictionalized Motown-style pop group — from their rise to stardom in the mid-1960s to their slide into obscurity over the next two decades Star/director/cowriter Townsend clearly has an enthusiasm for his material, though his efforts to include every familiar show-biz plot—the talent contest, the record deal, racism, drugs, the burden of superstardom—results in too little insight.

The film's highlight is the presentation of the musical numbers, most of which were written for the film. Out of the ensemble cast Wright stands out as the troubled Eddie. The other Heartbeats include Leon Robinson, Harry J. Lennix, and Tico Wells.

Diahann Carroll, in her first screen appearance since Claudine in 1974, has a secondary role. Harold Nicholas of the legendary 1940s tap- dancing team, the Nicholas Brothers, plays a plucky senior who helps the group with their choreography.

Director:  Robert Townsend
Writers:  Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robert Townsend
Producer:  Robert Townsend, Loretha C. Jones
Composer:  Stanley Clarke
Director of Photography:  Bill Dill


Production Details

Production Companies:  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Release Date:  29 March 1991

Running Time:  2 h 01 min

Genres: Drama, Music

Language:  Italian, English

Budget and Box Office takings where known