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Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

Not Rated | | Short, Biography, Drama | 30 April 1988 (USA)
Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia nervosa and the cultural influence of the Carpenters in the 70s.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Merrill Gruver ...
Karen (voice)
...
Richard (voice)
Melissa Brown ...
Mother (voice)
...
Dad / Mr. A&M (voice)
Nannie Doyle ...
Cherry Boone (voice)
Cynthia Schneider ...
Dionne Warwick (voice)
Larry Kole ...
Announcer (voice)
Gwen Kraus ...
Narrator (voice)
Bruce Tuthill ...
Narrator (voice)
Joanne Barnett ...
Herself - Singer
...
(voice)
Moira McCarty ...
(voice)
Laurie Stone ...
(voice)
Michelle Manenti ...
(voice)
Celia Pearce ...
(voice)
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Storyline

Karen and Richard Carpenter are young musicians living with their parents in Downey, California. Richard shows great promise as a songwriter and Karen, who plays drums, begins to sing vocals, thrusting the duo into stardom. They become wildly successful, Karen's striking voice and Richard's soft melodies capturing the essence of the nation's yearning for calm after the turbulent Sixties. But Karen strives for perfection and becomes increasingly fearful of her weight, despite being a slender woman. Eventually she is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, a mental disease relating to stress, lack of control, and low self-esteem. A fight for Karen's life ensues. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Суперзвезда: История Карен Карпентер  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken- and Barbie-style dolls play all of the parts. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, as the camera rounds the corner on its way into Karen's bedroom, a crew member is visible at the end of the hallway. See more »

Quotes

Mother: I will not ALLOW Karen to move to some apartment an hour away from here after what just happened to her. Why can't she find a nice place in Downey? Why does she have to be out in the middle of...
Karen: Because SHE doesn't WANT to live in Downey, ALRIGHT?
See more »

Connections

Features The Partridge Family (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Superstar
Written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell
Performed by The Carpenters
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent
1 May 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I recently saw Superstar in an art class of mine, having heard about the film for over ten years. I had been dying to get my hands on a copy, and was extremely excited about seeing it. It surpassed every expectation I had. I can't imagine the story being done any other way with Barbie dolls. When "Karen" is talking about how she feels fat, one can't help but look at the irony that she is being played by a stick thin Barbie but still insists she's fat--just as Karen couldn't see that in real life. Not preachy or cheesy at all, the "dolls" manage to inject more humanity in the film than actors could. One of the most beautiful, poignant shots ever is in Superstar--Karen Carpenter, alone in the studio, singing a very sad song as the camera pans up and the lights grow dim, the only visible thing her shining face and her echoing, melancholy voice. Do whatever you have to do to see this!!


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