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Only the Strong Survive (2002) - movie overview

Only the Strong Survive (2002)

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Plot Description

Release Date
 USA: May 9, 2003

Official Website:
Only the Strong Survive Website

MPAA Rating
Rated PG-13 for brief language and a drug reference.

Running Time
1 hour, 35 minutes

Country USA

Studio Pennebaker-Hegedus Films

More info on

Other Titles
• Only the Strong Survive

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Genre: Documentary, Tragedy, Biography

Tagline: A celebration of soul.

Plot: Influential documentarian D.A. Pennebaker, perhaps best known for his 1967 Bob Dylan documentary DON'T LOOK BACK, co-directs ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE, a fascinating look at some of the most influential soul musicians from the 1960s and 1970s. Pennebaker's film centers around the survivors from this tumultuous period in soul music, talking at length to Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett, Rufus Thomas, Mary Wilson, and Isaac Hayes amongst others. All have a bittersweet story to tell of their time in the business, many having experienced the euphoric highs of chart success, followed by a fall from grace, and a late resurrection of their careers upon which this film focuses.

Clearly enjoying their twilight years in the spotlight, the featured artists display a mixture of talent, humor, and a sense of gratitude that they have survived for so long in the often-cutthroat music industry. 80-year-old Rufus Thomas perhaps best exemplifies their spirit, taking to the stage with all the energy and enthusiasm of a 25-year-old, he proves that age and a troubled past are no obstacle to providing a compelling, moving performance. An essential film for soul fans, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE is a moving human-interest story which manages to reach beyond its target audience by providing a heartwarming tale of

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Official Trailer

[Quicktime] (Large)

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 Directed by
Chris Hegedus, The War Room, 101
D.A. Pennebaker
Dont Look Back, The War Room, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
 Written by
Isaac Hayes
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Escape from New York
Sam Moore
Tapeheads, Night at the Golden Eagle
 Music By

 Recommended Movies
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Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)
Lightning in a Bottle (2004)
Soul of a Man, The (2003)

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