- Rated: PG-13
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 35 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 3, 2004
- Originally Released: 2003
- Label: Miramax
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - English
- DTS - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 05/09/2003
"...The film's most moving performances are by Mr. Butler....With a rich, pleading voice that conveys several layers of rusted sadness, wisdom and determination, Mr. Butler remains a peerless soul balladeer..."
USA Today - 05/09/2003
"...This is a movie made for the love of it. Co-producer Roger Friedman, interviewing on camera, is obviously crazy about the music, and there's an infectious family quality, as Carla Thomas sings with dad Rufus..."
Rolling Stone - 05/29/2003
"...Documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus blend insights with rare concert footage, creating one for the time capsule..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/16/2003
"...A vital musical ramble, showing us wher some of soul's founders landed after their moments of pop glory....It's one of the happiest movies around..."
Premiere - 06/01/2003
"...STRONG is a loving celebration of a good many soul and R&B artists who have been unacknowledged as architects of modern music for too long..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/09/2003
"...This is a concert film with lots of appetizing filler that gives a sense of the geographical and stylistic evolution of rhythm and blues in cities across the nation....The film offers a striking contrast in performing styles..."
Influential documentarian D.A. Pennebaker, perhaps best known for his 1967 Bob Dylan documentary DON'T LOOK BACK, co-directs ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE, a fascinating look at some of the most influential soul musicians from the 1960s and 1970s. Pennebaker's film centers around the survivors from this tumultuous period in soul music, talking at length to Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett, Rufus Thomas, Mary Wilson, and Isaac Hayes amongst others. All have a bittersweet story to tell of their time in the business, many having experienced the euphoric highs of chart success, followed by a fall from grace, and a late resurrection of their careers upon which this film focuses.
Clearly enjoying their twilight years in the spotlight, the featured artists display a mixture of talent, humor, and a sense of gratitude that they have survived for so long in the often-cutthroat music industry. 80-year-old Rufus Thomas perhaps best exemplifies their spirit, taking to the stage with all the energy and enthusiasm of a 25-year-old, he proves that age and a troubled past are no obstacle to providing a compelling, moving performance. An essential film for soul fans, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE is a moving human-interest story which manages to reach beyond its target audience by providing a heartwarming tale of survival against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Only The Strong Survive: A Celebration Of Soul
In the winning spirit of STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE brings together an amazing array of musical icons! With living legends such as Isaac Hayes, Jerry Butler, Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett, and Mary Wilson performing together on one stage, it's a dream revue of original artists and songs that won America's heart . . . and filled it with soul. Also featuring the Chi-Lites, Ann Peebles. and Carla and Rufus Thomas ... the night these legends come together will be a night you'll never forget!
Concert Footage |
Live Concerts |
Live Performances |
Music (General) |
Music Compilation |
R&B / Soul |
Soul Music |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical Release: May 9, 2003