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The Five Heartbeats

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Director: Robert Townsend
1991 / 121min / 35mm

From a pop history-saturated script by director/star Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans, the Motown-inspired The Five Heartbeats tracks three decades in the life of a rhythm and blues vocal group, from their ’60s chart success into in-fighting, back-biting, and addiction. Carroll, playing the wife of the group’s manager and the eventual agent of their redemption, acts as an emissary from an older Black Hollywood to a new emerging generation, alongside Harold Nicholas of The Nicholas Brothers, on-hand as the group’s choreographer.

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