- Featurette Robert Townsend Profile
- Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
- Widescreen (Anamorphic)
- Audio: English [CC]
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Rated: R
- Run Time: 2 hours
- Video: Color
- Released: January 22, 2002
- Originally Released: 1991
- Label: 20th Century Fox
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Dolby Surround - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access
- Robert Townsend
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 03/29/1991
"...Fundamental sweetness and sincerity....[In cameo, Harold Nicholas's] very presence expands the range of this film..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/29/1991
"...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..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
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.
Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) directs and stars in this perfect-pitch production and captures the Motown era of the Sixties at its most soulful and sizzling. Featuring a score by Stanley Clarke and music from the soundtrack album by After 7, Patti LaBelle and The Dells, it's packed with electrifying musical showstoppers, gripping characters and a mesmerizing cast that includes Leon (All The Right Moves, Colors), John Canada Terrell (She's Gotta Have It) and Diahann Carroll (TV's "Julia").
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.
Music (General) |
Musicals / Music Videos |
R&B / Soul |
Race Relations |
- Theatrical release date: March 29, 1991.
- Filmed entirely on location in Southern California.
The film introduces thirteen original songs and features performances of numerous Motown favorites. Also featured are two R&B classics by The Dells, "Stay in My Corner" and "Oh What A Night." Townsend did research for his fictional R&B group by hanging out and travelling with The Dells, an R&B group that has been together for 38 years. The Dells acted as techincal advisors on the film.
- THE FIVE HEARTBEATS is "dedicated in loving memory of John Sherrod."