Besides the direct inspiration from the Dells, the story of The Five Heartbeats is loosely based upon those of a number of other classic soul performers:
Jackie Wilson: like Bird (played by Roy Fegan) of the Falcons in this film, Wilson was once dangled out of a window for asking about his royalties and trying to leave his label.
The Temptations: lead singer David Ruffin developed a cocaine addiction and became difficult to work with, leading to his replacement by Dennis Edwards. In The Five Heartbeats, Eddie King is the Ruffin-like figure, and is replaced by Michael “Flash” Turner (played by John Canada Terrell).
The Isley Brothers: the cover to their 1966 Motown album, This Old Heart of Mine, featured on its cover a portrait of a framed white couple instead of the African American men in the group. While pandering and discriminatory, this was apparently in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The same situation befalls the Five Heartbeats in this film. J.T. loudly challenges the decision: “I ain’t never seen five ******* on Elvis Presley’s album cover!”
The Five Heartbeats
1984 by George Orwell To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee If This Is A Man by Primo Levi The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressel The Diving Bell And The Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby
The movie was inspired by the Dells.
yes they are because if u look at the very end of the movie after the credits they show a picture of the heartbeats
Sorry to be answering this so late but here goes…Billy Valentine of The Valentine Brothers was the voice of “Eddie KING (not Cain) Jr”. Darrell Finissey was the voice of “J.T. Matthews”, Dorian Holley was the voice of “Choirboy”. Jim Gilstrap of “Love Talk” & “Good Times” fame was “Duck Matthews. The late Dee Harvey of “Leave Well Enough” fame was the voice of “Michael ‘Flash’ Turner”.
I’m drawing a blank regarding who supplied the voice of “Bird”, but will come back when I remember.
I hope that this clears up a few misconceptions.
i think they are a real group called the five heartbeats
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