Only the Strong Survive | Chicago Reader

Only the Strong Survive

Master documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus directed this fascinating group portrait of soul and R & B legends who are still touring 40 years after their original fame, enduring even after they've been relegated to the nostalgia circuit. Especially amazing are their interviews with Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, who seems mild and self-deprecating offstage but still burns with charisma when he sings, and Wilson Pickett, who continues to live up to his reputation as a wild man. As one might expect, the interviews are complemented with rehearsal and performance footage, sequences that are as revealing as anything the musicians say. With Isaac Hayes, Mary Wilson, Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Ann Peebles, and the late Rufus Thomas. 101 min.

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