Five Heartbeats

Five Heartbeats

4.9 21

Cast: Michael Wright, Leon, Harry J. Lennix

     
 

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Robert Townsend's musical drama The Five Heartbeats comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 4.0 and Dolby Digital Surround. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a making-ofSee more details below

Overview

Robert Townsend's musical drama The Five Heartbeats comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 4.0 and Dolby Digital Surround. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a making-of featurette, trailers, television promotional spots, and a profile of the director. This is a solid if unspectacular release from 20th Century Fox that will please fans of the film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
When filming the big-screen adaptation of Dreamgirls (2006), Bill Condon undoubtedly used the Broadway staging of that musical as his template. But he could very well have been using The Five Heartbeats. In fact, Robert Townsend's 1991 labor-of-love, considerably less heralded than Condon's film, is a truer and more fulfilling "making of a Motown supergroup" movie. The films have so many surface similarities -- the tentative rise in the ranks, the windy road to success, the inevitable disappointments of fame -- that one must go deeper to determine why The Five Heartbeats works better as a narrative. Townsend himself may be the difference, but it's not because he, an African-American, has a more legitimate perspective on the material; Condon has repeatedly proven himself a consummately sensitive interpreter. Rather, it speaks more to the fact that this was the prestige project beating deep in Townsend's chest while he was toiling away on comedies -- comedies that may not have been as important to him as this project clearly was. (It's worth noting that he may have experienced an exhaustion akin to that felt by his well-traveled Heartbeats, as his next two theatrical directing projects were the dud comedies The Meteor Man and B.A.P.S., after which he made the permanent switch to directing TV). In his short-lived apex as a director, Townsend gathers together earnest, energetic performances from a spectrum of impressive actors, who add true dimension to the simpler parts of the script. Then again, The Five Heartbeats is a reminder that simple isn't necessarily bad. Townsend has made sort of the definitive version of the tumultuous band movie, one that shows his love for music and the depth of his soul. He doesn't always surprise with his choices, but he's helped establish some genre standards worth imitating.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
Townsend shows a real talent, and, not surprisingly, an ability to avoid most cliches, to go for the human truth in his characters.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
UPC:
0024543018773
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:02:00

Special Features

Featurette; Robert Townsend profile; Thetrical trailer & TV spots; Anamorphic widescreen [aspect ratio 1.85:1]; Audio: English 4.0 dolby surround; English dolby surround; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Townsend Duck
Michael Wright Eddie
Leon J.T.
Harry J. Lennix Dresser
Tico Wells Choirboy
Diahann Carroll Eleanor Potter
Chuck Patterson Jimmy Potter
Nicholas Brothers Ernest 'Sarge' Johnson
Hawthorne James Big Red
Harold Nicholas Sarge
Gregory "Popeye" Alexander Midnight Falcon
James Anderson Big Red's Guy
Troy Beyer Baby Doll
Brian Bradley Five Horseman
Jaki Brown-Karman Actor
Mike Conn Five Horseman
Barry Diamond Five Horseman
Carl Edwards Five Horseman
Joey Gaynor Five Horseman
Randy Harris Big Red's Guy
Devin C. Huff Matthew's Kid
Lakisha Luke Matthew's Kid
Bob Mardis Midnight Falcon
Veronica Redd Mrs. Matthews
John Canada Terrell Michael "Flash" Turner
Tommy Townsend Matthew's Kid
Recoe Walker Ebony Sparks
Virginia Watson Actor
Jeannel Phillips White Matthew's Kid
Kamar Phillips White Matthew's Kid
Jimmy Woodard Midnight Falcon
Tressa Thomas Duck's Baby Sister
Roy Fegan Bird
Carla Brothers Tanya Sawyer
Deborah Lacey Rose
Theresa Randle Brenda
John Witherspoon Wild Rudy
Anne-Marie Johnson Sydney Todd
Lisa Mende Marcia Sayles
Bobby McGee Leon
Don Barnes Lester
O.L. Duke Monroe
Lamont Johnson Bobby Cassanova
Arnold Johnson Mr. Matthews
David McKnight Pastor Stone
Phyllis Applegate Myra Stone
Paul Benjamin Mr. King
Marilyn Coleman Mrs. King
Norma Donaldson Mrs. Sawyer
Harris Peet Phil Shumway
Kasi Lemmons Cookie
Monique Mannen Sandra Tillman
Suzanne Suter Crystal
Gigi Bolden Crystal
Kathleen Mitchell Crystal
Ron Jaxson Ebony Sparks
Wayne "Crescendo" Ward Ebony Sparks
Roger Rose The Midnight Falcon
Fred Asparagus Big Red's Guy
Al Simon Big Red's Guy
Shannon Chambers Matthew's Kid
Brandon Wright Matthew's Kid
Christopher Bradley Theatre Security Man
Aaron J. Galang Theatre Security Man
Harry Stanback Speakeasy Guy
Tiffanique Webb Speakeasy Girl
Timmie Rogers Buddy Lewis
Craig Eisner Jimmy's Doorman
Tommy Redmond Hicks Pastor Blake
David Drummond Policeman
Griff Ruggles Policeman
Joel Weiss St. George Hotel Doorman
Regina McLeod Jackie
Shanel Cason J.T.'s Little Girl
Jimmy Jackson Little Duck
Alexis Johnson Little Girl
John Pittman Hitman
Vincent J. Isaac Hitman
Ron Smith Poker Player
Frank Fontaine Poker Player
Donnie Simpson Himself
Eugene Robert Glazer David Green

Technical Credits
Robert Townsend Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Kokayi Ampah Producer
David Brownlow Sound/Sound Designer
John Carter Editor
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Stanley Clarke Score Composer
Don Diers Art Director
William Dill Cinematographer
Bill Dill Cinematographer
Nancy Israel Co-producer
Loretha C. Jones Producer
Michael Peters Choreography
Samara Schaffer Set Decoration/Design
Christina Schmidlin Producer
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
Keenen Ivory Wayans Screenwriter
Christopher Young Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Main Titles [1:23]
2. The Monthly Talent Show [3:33]
3. "Nothing But Love" [4:01]
4. Jimmy Potter [4:01]
5. The Choreographer [1:26]
6. The Midnight Falcons [5:08]
7. Big Red Davis [2:41]
8. Choosing a Record Company [:41]
9. On the Radio/On the Road [8:47]
10. The Album [:16]
11. Dissension in the Ranks [7:31]
12. Gaining Popularity [2:13]
13. Eddie Has a Problem [1:29]
14. Big Red's Way [7:22]
15. Jimmy Gets a Phone Call [1:19]
16. Eddie Stops Singing [4:44]
17. J. T. Is Jealous [2:26]
18. Eddie's Decline [1:59]
19. Duck and Tanya [1:02]
20. Gold Records [5:51]
21. An Invitation [4:32]
22. The Choir [3:13]
23. A Reunion [5:29]
24. End Titles [2:08]

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