This routine musical drama set in the 1950s stars Irene Cara, Lonette McKee, and Dwan Smith as three singing sisters striving to get out of Harlem with the help of Stix (future "Miami Vice" star Philip-Michael Thomas), who tries to transform them into rhythm and blues stars. Unfortunately,

the story (which appears, like the later musical play "Dreamgirls," to be loosely based on the career of the Supremes) wallows in the usual exploitation elements and contrivances, as alcohol, drug abuse, gangsters, and general seediness take their toll on the sisters, with only Sparkle (Cara) left

to make it big under mentor Stix' guidance. Good performances from the principals and a score by Curtis Mayfield nearly raise this film to a more distinguished level.