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Charles Malik Whitfield , D.B. Woodside , Allan Arkush    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)

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The soap-opera career of Motown's most successful group, the Temptations, lends credence to the old belief that great art comes from troubled lives. Over three decades, the band struggled through numerous ego trips, countless members, broken relationships, coke addiction, alcoholism, suicide, cancer, deadly arthritis--in short, all the melodramatic devices necessary for a TV miniseries. This two-and-a-half-hour docudrama touches on all of these personal tragedies, but unfortunately forgets the real reason for the strength of the story: the music. Sure, there's wonderful reenactments of the quintet's finest material, such as "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "The Way You Do the Things You Do," all performed with the slick choreography and shimmering vocal harmonies that made the band legendary. But, unfortunately, director Allan Arkush (Rock and Roll High School) and writers Kevin Arkadie and Robert Johnson forget to put the music into any historical perspective. Why were the Temptations so important? What was their contribution to pop music? By watching this saccharine, manipulative exposé, you'd never know. The performances are nonetheless terrific, especially Charles Malik Whitfield as leader (and narrator) Otis Williams, D.B. Woodside as his partner, Melvin Franklin, and Leon as the group's talented livewire, David Ruffin. The DVD edition offers several fine features including 2.0 Dolby Surround Sound, a discography, cast and crew profiles, extensive production notes, and most important, the ability to jump to any of the seven songs performed... basically the main reason to watch this epic. --Dave McCoy

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably The Best Movie Ever April 20 2004
I don't know where to begin. This movie is so unbelievably awesome on so many levels. I rank it up there with Titanic and Pretty Woman, no, you know what - this movie is better. The cast is superb, not only acting but dancing AND SINGING. Props should be given to the actors who re-recorded basically ALL of the songs in THEIR OWN voices, especially Terron Brooks and Christian Payton - this fact seems to be overlooked often or not known.
Along with the great performances from all of the characters, especially Leon, Christian, Terron, Charles and DB, the film-making was top notch.
Scenes so unforgettable that point out the skill of film-making is of course the wonderful part where the Tempts are in B/W on TV performing 'My Girl' and then they fade into color. This is so genius and gets me every time.
Also the scene where they kick David out of the band and the four of them are facing the window. Then Paul turns the other way, and you can see the camera in slow motion pausing for effect as if to say, 'Paul, you are next'. Pure genius.
And of course my favorite part of all, the nostalgic end, where after all of the original Tempts have now died except Otis, it is haunting how they are seemingly 'resurrected', shown in all of their purple glory. They are performing 'My Girl' as if from heaven along with sad narration from Otis. After their exquisitely choreographed TO-THE-NINES performance, they bow, and Otis saying, "Temptations (pause -voice breaks) Forever" makes me tear up every time. That is so awesome. This is what filmmaking should be about.
I know that there are people complaining about the accuracy of the film and I understand their gripes, but all films based on real life usually change stuff up for 'dramatic effect'. In this case, it works extremely well and is probably the factor that makes this movie a TOTAL CLASSIC.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jan. 20 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This concert was very informative and chock full of great music which brings back many memories of my teenage years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie--From the Heart April 16 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I must admit, I was just a kid when the Tempts hit their stride, but became a fan in later years, and a fanatic after I saw the movie last year(2003). I think I have watched it to the point where I could play a few roles myself, and I have showed the movie to friends as well, and will NOT let anyone borrow it. This is a warm, feel-good movie that brings forth heartfelt joy, as well as the ability to draw tears, as at Melvin's funeral. It also draws multiple watchers of the movie into strong unity and solidarity. One of the positive features of the movie is its ability to show how drugs and alcohol can not only ruin unity but friendships and careers as well. It is a powerful movie to show to addicts, who can see for themselves the heights, as well as the depths that are brought on by these two curses to humanity. The music is, of course, fantastic and nostalgic. The acting is superb, and choreography the bomb. It is basically "safe" to show anyone, as it is not overwhelmed by cursing and vulgarity, and there is no nudity in the film. I recommend this movie to everybody. It's a true joy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb movie Feb. 23 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen this movie on TV in its entirety. Also when I bought this movie I was surprised that some of the scenes were missing. Still it was a great movie. Leon who played David Ruffin did a fantastic job. That goes double for Terron Brooks. All the songs are my favorites. I must have seen this movie over and over at least 20 to 25 times. My grandaughter loves it, so I let her see it also. Would really like to see the reunion tour they had in 1982. Not sure if they have one out in VHS. Anyway I thing the movie was fabulous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tempting Temptations Nov. 21 2003
This was an excellent movie, it gave us a glimps of what goes on inside of each star life. I really enjoyed when they all got back together for the Temptations Review. After watching this movie I begin to seach the web for an "Temptations Review" DVD with all of the singers old and new. Is there anywhere that I can purchase this DVD with all of them on it, singing all of their songs. I really, really, would like to get this DVD
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie Oct. 17 2003
I wasn't able to watch the movie when it aired on NBC. But I purchased the DVD a year ago and fell in love with the movie. Watching actor Leon portrayed David Ruffin's character was wonderful and somewhat spooky. He played that role to a tee. Leon sounded like David, had the same mannerism as David that it was so amazing.
I was proud at the performances by all the actors in the movie. Even though she had a small part, I was proud of Rhonda Ross Kendrick who is Diana Ross' and Berry Gordy's daughter who played Maxine, Paul's wife, I was proud of her performance as well.
Sure there were inconsistencies in the movie. Yes, the producers of the movies should have let the audience, particularly the younger audiences know what happened to the lives of these wonderful, yet troubled men who made up the Tempting Temptations.
(...)want to know about all that, read Otis' book or do research for yourself. But other than that, the movie was excellent in my book. The choreography in this movie was OUTSTANDING. The music was fantastic and the costumes was fabulous.
I would recommend this movie wholeheartedly. Yes, in some ways this movie is factual as well as fictional, but it is still worth watching and it will make you go out and read the book and do your own research about this fantastic group who will always be the number one in my book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon Is Great as David Ruffin
I have always had a soft spot for The Temptations with David Ruffin and Leon gives a chilling performance of the man - all of the actors portraying The Temptations are excellent. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2009 by Roscoe09
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing movie
i have to be honest i really wasn't all that interested in the movie,at first anyway...i first saw the movie while i was in the wonderful city of detroit, michigan... Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by kelsea stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars History in the making! To be enjoyed for generations.
This is one of the greatest movies of all times! The characters come alive. As I watch it, I have to remind myself that the characters on the television are not the real... Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by Laurie Cannady
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't resist this temptation!!!!
I love this movie! I can watch it over and over and over again, especially the performances.
Published on April 22 2004 by BB
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation
After watching the VH1 movie and the DVD, the VHS leaves out some important aspects of this wonderful documentry. Read more
Published on March 20 2004 by Peggy A. Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall Good *Story*
Although I am but 21 years old, I have been a fan of the Temptations for a while now. Their sound and style is, of course, classic. But, on to the actual DVD. Read more
Published on March 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining
I just love the tempatations and always have, I was born in Detroit when some of their hits were being produced. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Rocknrollmommy
3.0 out of 5 stars temptations is a good movie
I watched this movie on NBC when it aired and it was a good TVM...I really dont care fot TVM'S but there are some out there that are good and this one is.. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by Michael Bolts
4.0 out of 5 stars Hated the way some of the Temptations were portrayed
I loved the movie, but hated the way that Otis portrayed Paul Williams, no where in the movie does he tell that Paul had sickle cell anemia and that is why he wasn't able to stay... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003
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