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5 Heartbeats (1991)

Director: Robert Townsend     Starring: Michael Wright
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Learn more about 5 Heartbeats:

Format: DVD
Sku: 202014702
UPC: 024543225270
UPC 14: 00024543225270
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
A musical journey depicting the lives of a group of talented musicians who begin chasing their star in mid-'60s motown.

"...a giddy mixture of comedy, music and drama.  Desson Howe, Washington Post
"A stunning and exhuberant motion picture. Terrific acting and unforgettable music.  Jim Whaley, PBS
"Townsend shows a real go for the human truth in his characters.  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Editor's Note
Actor-director Robert Townsend came to fame depicting the pitfalls of the Hollywood experience for black actors with his 1987 film HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE. Four years later, he took on the mid-'60s music scene with THE FIVE HEARTBEATS. After doing extensive research with long-lived pop/R&B group the Dells, he painted a cinematic scene of five young friends in the 60s who share the dream of making music. They journey together through three decades, experiencing all the ups and downs show business had to offer, intensified by the difficulties faces by black acts in the era of civil-rights protest. Interacting as everything from a close-knit musical family to occasional bitter rivals, the fictional Five Heartbeats experience both success and tragedy in this excellent film. The multi-talented Townshend functions as both director and star, alongside compelling performances by a cast that includes Leon and Diahann Caroll. Featuring a mix of original songs and classic Motown material, THE FIVE HEARTBEATS is an irresistible combination of music and drama that captures a unique period in American cultural history.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Foxvideo
Video Release Date Release Date: 7/5/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 121 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1991
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 2232527
Video UPC UPC: 00024543225270
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Diahann Carroll
Video Cast Info Leon
Video Cast Info Michael Wright
Video Cast Info Robert Townsend
Video Cast Info Bill Dill - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info John Carter - Editor
Video Cast Info Keenen Ivory Wayans - Writer
Video Cast Info Robert Townsend - Director
Video Cast Info Robert Townsend - Writer
Video Cast Info Robert Townsend, et. al. - Producer
Video Cast Info Stanley Clarke, et. al. - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Wynn Thomas - Performer

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"...Fundamental sweetness and sincerity....[In cameo, Harold Nicholas's] very presence expands the range of this film..." 03/29/1991 p.C14

Los Angeles Times
"...Musically, THE FIVE HEARTBEATS is on target all the way. It's hard to remember a recent film that had so many warm-hearted, rousing, big-souled song numbers..." 03/29/1991 p.F1

The Village Voice 8 of 10
A propulsive score, spirited choreography by Michael Peters and evocative sets and costumes help Townsend re-create musical history.

Rolling Stone 6 of 10
With that first-rate cast, it's a shame that Townsend wastes time covering the well-worn ground of what fame, money, booze, drugs and the wrong women can do to a nice bunch of guys. But the movie, inspired by the hot and hard times of such groups as the Temptations, the Four Tops and the Dells, offers ample compensations. A propulsive score, spirited choreography by Michael Peters and evocative sets and costumes help Townsend re-create musical history. Even cliches can't muffle that joyful noise.

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Townsend,Robert
Product attributeLabel:   Fox Home Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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