7.9/10
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Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

Not Rated | | Short, Music | 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

Credited cast:
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)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joanne Barrett
Gwen Kraus ...
Narrator (voice)
Michelle Manenti
Moira McCarty
...
Himself - President of the United States (archive footage)
Celia Pearce
...
Himself - President of the United States (archive footage)
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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

Genres:

Short | Music

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

Ranked #45 on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time" 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

Richard: We are still catching up from the setback you had 6 years ago! Karen, people are talking about you, your fans are worried, I can hear them gasping when we walk on stage! Now what the hell are we supposed to do about that?
Karen: Richard! I know, I know I'm sick. I know something's wrong, I need help.
Richard: What do you mean sick? Mentally?
Karen: Richard, have you ever heard the word anorexia?
Richard: Of course, I've heard people call you that.
Karen: Richard, I am that. And I guess I'm just beginning to realize that it isn't ...
See more »

Connections

Features All in the Family (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarre, yet fascinating
3 April 2005 | by (Western Kentucky) – See all my reviews

When I first heard of a Karen Carpenter movie acted out by Barbie dolls, I thought, "Yeah, right." Actually, it's not half-bad, revealing the ugly side of brother Richard and their parents. It's a shame the movie has been only available through the underground, though, as it portrays the heart-breaking effects of anorexia through clinical narration, montage, and pop culture to great effect. The use of dolls is actually ingenious, as we come to see how Karen was manipulated by her family, her record company, and society to conform to unattainable perfection. Although banned by numerous lawsuits, this film is available through alternative resources. If you look hard enough, you can find it.


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