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Episode #148: The Five Heartbeats

Listen to Episode 148 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - The Five Heartbeats chronicles the steady rise in fame of a fictional R&B band in the 1960s. From their humble beginnings in battle of the band concerts through their financial successes, they have to navigate a music business full of backstabbing, jealousy, and deceit in order to stay close friends.

Screenplay by Robert Townsend and Kenan Ivory Wayans; Directed by Robert Townsend; and released on March 29,1991.


After a quick glance at the present, the movie takes us back to the 1960s to follow the rise of our band. It starts, appropriately with music

There are a few battle of the bands contestants and they all offer fun music

One of the funniest bits in the movie came from turning the planted girlfriend from boo-er to woo-er

A training montage comes in the form of still images, which is a neat way to do it

Tone-wise, the movie takes a lot of turns but manages to handle some difficult situations and conversations well.

That doesn't mean that there isn't melodrama to be found, especially when it comes to Big Red

But there is a huge focus on music, of course, including a musical-like scene running around creating a song

It's a big, talented cast, but everyone has a worthwhile story to be told.

Heart and music is a powerful combination.

Awards Talk: It has an ASCAP Film & TV Music Awards win for “Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures” for Nights Like This (Jesse Johnson/Keith Lewis), which is shared with Jungle Fever & Robin Hood. It also earned an Image Awards nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture


This week we don't have any true crime to talk about so we jump right into music in the form of the musical version.

We also talk about the wonderful soundtrack


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - Yes we both would. It may not be a perfect movie, but it provides comedy and heart and some poignant moments. Plus, the music is really fun, so what more could you really ask for?

If you want to watch The Five Heartbeats, as of this recording in January 2024, it’s available on Max, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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