the five heartbeats cast
has a wife and two children, including a son named "Duck". • Robert Townsend as Donald "Duck" Matthews: Duck hails from a poor family. Terrence "Dresser" Williams, Tico Wells Although mired in show-biz musical cliches, director-writer-producer and star Robert Townsend unfolds the story of the Five Tanya's relationship with J.T. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Bird and The Midnight Falcons portrayed by actors Roy Fegan, Gregory Alexander, Roger Rose, Jimmy Woodard: The group The Five Heartbeats compete against in their second onscreen performance. When writing Townsend's first studio film The Five Heartbeats, Townsend and Wayans kept comedy an important aspect of the film, but also explored complex characters in a more dramatic way. Both "Nights like This" and "A Heart Is a House for Love" became top 20 hits on the U.S. The Heartbeats add Flash as their lead singer. The film depicts the rise and fall of a Motown inspired soul act through the eyes of one of the Heartbeats, Donald "Duck" Matthews. Duck comes to suspect his fiancé, Tanya Sawyer, is having an affair with Choirboy. The group goes on the road, but the travel is marred by racism and poor living conditions. [12], To promote the film prior to its release, Townsend, along with the other actors who portrayed the fictional musical quartet The Five Heartbeats (Leon Robinson, Michael Wright, Harry J. Lennix, and Tico Wells) performed in a concert with real-life Soul/R&B vocal group The Dells, one of many groups that inspired the film. [10], Due to the nature of the film, music montages were often used to progress the plot; critics considered this a major flaw. Speakeasy Guy, Tiffanique Webb Eleanor Potter, Tressa Thomas The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden Presidential Debates: Everything to Know, Joe Biden's Town Hall Beats Donald Trump's in Ratings. Member--The Five Horsemen, Carl Edwards At a family gathering, Eleanor Potter, coming to terms with her husband's death, forgives Eddie. Member--Matthew's Kids, Jeannel Phillips White Sydney Todd, Lamont Johnson John Canada Terrell as Michael "Flash" Turner: Lead singer of Flash and the Ebony Sparks, the Heartbeats' only competition. Keep track of your favorite shows and movies, across all your devices. Plus, everything you need to know about Season 3, 'I needed people that would listen to me, do what I say,' the evicted houseguest said. Member--Matthew's Kids, Brandon Wright Throughout the mid-to-late 1960s The Five Heartbeats receive numerous awards, chart several hits, and are featured on magazine covers. Bobby is only seen in the movie's opening scenes when he and Eddie are caught cheating at a high-stakes poker game. [19] On Rotten Tomatoes The Five Heartbeats accumulated an average of 39%, although only 18 reviews were counted (6 of which were positive, the remaining 12 negative).[19]. [12] Warner passed on the project, and the Wayans moved on to develop and star in the Fox sketch comedy show In Living Color instead.[12]. [8] The movie received mixed reviews from critics.[9][10]. He is now married to Baby Doll, sings in Choirboy's choir, and manages a group. Member--Matthew's Kids, Kamar Phillips White Member--The Five Horsemen, Mike Conn This led Duck to estrange himself from the Heartbeats and his brother for years. The Five Heartbeats reunite in front of their families and friends, as they try to show off their old moves. Choirboy, true to his nickname, has returned to singing in his father's church. When Eddie goes into a downward spiral, Flash is brought in as the new lead singer. The film then skips ahead to the early 1990s. Member--The Five Horsemen, James Anderson Member--The Ebony Sparks, Gregory "Popeye" Alexander His earlier attempts to win her heart are unsuccessful but they reconnect at a party for the group and later date. Flash and the Ebony Sparks portrayed by John Canada Terrell, Ron Jackson, Recoe Walker and Wayne "Crescendo" Ward: The Ebony Sparks defeat The Five Heartbeats in singing competitions—many of which are rigged—prior to their mainstream popularity. Member--The Crystals, Gigi Bolden They would later sign with Big Red Records along with the Five Heartbeats. "[15] Tressa Thomas' performance of "We Haven't Finished Yet," in particular, was given favorable attention by critics. [14], A soundtrack for the film was released by Virgin Records, featuring original music by various artists. Member--Matthew's Kids, Lakisha Luke Member--Big Red's Guys, Tammy Townsend 4 'The Five Heartbeats' Celebrates 15th Anniversary With Special DVD. Dresser's girlfriend visits and reveals she is pregnant, and the group is faced with their first album cover featuring white people, despite the label having earlier approved a photo of the Heartbeats as the cover. Duck's Baby Sister, John Canada Terrell Member--The Ebony Sparks, Recoe Walker St. George Hotel Doorman, Shanel Cason Member--Matthew's Kids, Devin C. Huff Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times commented that: ...at feature length, Townsend shows a real talent, and, not surprisingly, an ability to avoid most cliches, to go for the human truth in his characters...by the end we really care about these guys...There is one obligatory scene showing racial prejudice against the group, and it seems a little tacked on, as if the only purpose of the Southern trip was to justify the scene. Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. Eddie, however, starts abusing alcohol and cocaine, affecting his performance and prompting his girlfriend Baby Doll to break up with him. Member--The Midnight Falcons, Brian Bradley After 7's "Nights like This" won the film an ASCAP Award. An entertaining, highly charged musical biography, THE FIVE HEARTBEATS is based on the sagas of such legendary 60s R&B groups as the Temptations and the Dells. After writing (along with Keenen Ivory Wayans), producing, directing, and starring in his first film Hollywood Shuffle, Robert Townsend had attained near-cult status among independent filmmakers due to his dedication to that film—a project which caused him to max out all his credit cards and spend nearly $100,000 of his own money raised through savings and various acting jobs in order to produce the film. Photo Credits: Netflix; Pop TV; Robert Viglasky, Hartswood Films; Fred Hayes/Disney+, Fox, PopTV; Bettina Strauss/Netflix; Nicole Rivelli/Amazon, Netflix, Frank Masi/Apple, Disney, Jasper Savage/Hulu; Diyah Pera/CW; CBS. [13], Due to the production's budgetary constraints, Townsend used little-known actors of the time, with the exceptions of Leon Robinson, Diahann Carroll and Harold Nicholas of The Nicholas Brothers. [1] Townsend had considered Denzel Washington as Eddie Kane, Jr. and Whitney Houston as Baby Doll. [1] The plot of the film (which is loosely based on the lives of several artists: The Dells, The Temptations, Four Tops, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Frankie Lymon, Sam Cooke and others)[6] follows the three decade career of the rhythm and blues vocal group The Five Heartbeats. Heartbeats with such energy and exuberance that the cliches become markers...read more, Robert Townsend He serves as the movie's narrator, with the film beginning as he reminisces about the group's career. Duck grows frustrated with the house player's poor playing, and shoves him off the piano stool. Bird and The Midnight Falcons witness the Heartbeats rehearsing for a competition and are concerned they could lose; frontman Victor "Bird" Thomas asks his girlfriend to invite her friends and boo The Heartbeats while cheering The Falcons. was the one seeing her. Member--The Crystals, Ron Jaxson 109, No. Member--The Midnight Falcons, Jimmy Woodard After the group loses, Jimmy pays them. [11], The Five Heartbeats was originally set up as a development deal at Warner Bros. in 1988, with Keenan Ivory Wayans, his brother Damon, and others tapped to star. He follows her to a hotel, only to discover that Tanya is meeting with J.T., not Choirboy. [12] Fox vetoed bringing Ruffin and Kendrick onto the production, for fear that Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. might sue the studio. Townsend used his film to depict a similar story to the careers of the Temptations and the Dells, following the lives of three friends who aspire to musical stardom. In retaliation, Jimmy threatens to go to the authorities with information about bootlegged LPs, cooked books, and payola that could have Big Red arrested, leading Red to have Jimmy killed in a hit disguised as an accident. The film was released to most North American audiences on March 29, 1991[7] however it was not made available to audiences in other continents until 2002 when a DVD was released prior to another DVD release in 2006 for the film's 15th anniversary.

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