Robert Townsend doc on 'The 5 Heartbeats' earns NAACP nod

Mar 28, 2019

Fans wanted Robert Townsend to make a sequel to his 1991 film 'The Five Heartbeats.' Instead, he made a documentary, which is up for an honor at this weekend's NAACP Image Awards

NEW YORK — Some people understand the heartbreak of finding out our favorite band has broken up, but few can actually turn that dismay into a cult classic. That's what Robert Townsend did with 1991's "The Five Heartbeats."

The 62-year-old filmmaker says it was hearing that David Ruffin was leaving The Temptations that inspired him to create a film about a fictional group that mirrored their rise and fall. Unfortunately, the film tanked in theaters.

It turns out all it needed was some time and the internet to help with its resurgence.

Fans of the film begged for a sequel, but instead, Townsend opted to produce "Making the Five Heartbeats," a documentary outlining the journey. Now he's nominated for an NAACP Image Award on Saturday.

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