The true story behind the legendary Motown musical sensation is brought to life in this touching miniseries.
David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Otis Williams are five soulful singers who managed to make the difficult transition from street-side harmonizing to Motown legends. Creating a sound that’s doo-wop, pop and hip-hop, they are rhythm and blues royalty. They are THE TEMPTATIONS.
From 1965 to 1975, The Temptations had 16 number one singles on the Billboard charts and received three Grammy Awards. But the climb to the top was one plagued by competing egos, antagonized by repeated drug and alcohol abuse.
In 1958, in Detroit, Michigan, 17-year-old aspiring singer, Otis Williams, partners with 16-year-old Melvin Franklin to form a duo, THE SIBNERIANS The group quickly comes to the attention of Johnnie Mae Matthews, a savvy 30-year-old woman, who becomes their manager, producer and promoter. Meanwhile, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams are burning up the stages of Detroit as THE PRIMES; a “hot group” already signed to Motown by entrepreneur/producer Berry Gordy. No sooner than THE SIBERIANS begin to earn money, Johnnie Mae drops the group, taking their name and songs with her. Soon after, THE PRIMES disband and Paul, Eddie, Otis & Melvin join to become THE TEMPTATIONS eventually adding David Ruffin to the group.
With their first hit song written by Smokey Robinson, “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” THE TEMPTATIONS begin touring with the Motortown Revue, along with the rest of the Motown roster – Marvin Gaye, The Miracles and The Supremes – doing the standard “one-nighters” and living in cheap hotels. Life on the road proves to be difficult for the young men, which subsequently leads to Paul’s alcohol dependency and Otis’ infidelity problem. After the hit “My Girl” sends the group soaring to the top of the charts, David develops a cocaine problem, is kicked out of the group and is replaced by Dennis Edwards. Later, David asks to return, claiming he has cleaned up his act. Eddie, who loves David like a brother, wants him back, but Otis makes the decision to keep David out.
Even after “Cloud Nine” wins THE TEMPTATIONS their first Grammy, their personal lives continue to disintegrate. Melvin develops rheumatoid arthritis and due to his constant pain, relies heavily on pain pills and cortisone injections. Paul’s alcohol addiction gets him kicked out of the group, and ultimately leads to his suicide. Ultimately, the intense pressures dismember the group causing them to split into two rival groups carrying the same name.
Eventually, the group is inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’ but the group overall pays a heavy price for their success and fame. David Ruffin dies of a cocaine overdose; Eddie Kendricks develops lung cancer; and Melvin Franklin dies from constant overmedication. Today, Otis Williams continues to tour with a revised lineup of THE TEMPTATIONS, keeping alive the hot sounds and memories of Eddie, David, Paul and Melvin.
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.33 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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