MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 15,869 this week

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

Not Rated  |   |  Short, Music  |  30 April 1988 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,773 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 28 critic

Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia nervosa and the cultural influence of the Carpenters in the 70s.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

What to Watch: "Mad Men"

In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 30 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 07 Jan 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 01 Sep 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 18 Nov 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

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

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Safe (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary covering Neil Young's October 22, 1978 concert performance at the Cow Palace.

Director: Neil Young
Stars: Neil Young, Ralph Molina, Frank 'Pancho' Sampedro
Dottie Gets Spanked (TV Short 1993)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Another dazzling suburban phantasm from writer-director Todd Haynes, Dottie Gets Spanked (made post-Poison and pre-Safe) is a stylized, bittersweet nod to his childhood fascination with I ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: J. Evan Bonifant, Barbara Garrick, Julie Halston
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Directors: John Heyn, Jeff Krulik
Six by Sondheim (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An intimate and candid look at the life and art of the legendary composer-lyricist.

Directors: James Lapine, Autumn DeWilde, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Barbara Barrie, Charles Braswell, Susan Browning
Goo (Video 1991)
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Directors: Ray Agony, Tamra Davis, and 7 more credits »
Stars: Karen Disney, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

In this genre parody, Pierre is heartbroken when informed by his girlfriend, Stacy, that she has hooked up with his best friend, Trey.

Director: Ryan Jamison
Stars: Trevor Adolf, Chiara Soligo-Hudson, Bennett Taylor
Fotel (1964)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Daniel Szczechura
Biography

Explores the professional and personal life of Peggy Lee whose career spanned nearly seven decades beginning with her first #1 single "Something Else Is Taking Place" in 1942.

Director: Todd Haynes
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rockumentary about the brothers Dewaele. They became a worldwide phenomenon through Soulwax and 2manydj's.

Directors: Saam Farahmand, Soulwax
Stars: David Dewaele, Stephen Dewaele, Soulwax
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Merrill Gruver ...
Karen (voice)
Michael Edwards ...
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)
Edit

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
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has been out of legal circulation since 1990, subject to a cease and desist order pertaining to unauthorized use of the Carpenters' music. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Richard: Karen, why are you doing this?
Karen: I was constipated.
Richard: Oh, you liar!
Karen: Don't tell mom and dad, Richard.
Richard: Why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't I tell them? You are ruining my life!
Karen: If you do, I'll tell them about you and your "private" life.
Richard: You say one word to them, one fucking word...
See more »

Connections

Features The Poseidon Adventure (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sublimely Brilliant and Subversive
7 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Unexplainably brilliant. You have to see it to believe it, really.

Understandably suppressed by Richard--I won't spoil it for you--it is at turns hiariously bitchy, grotesque, tender, and cruel. At the same time, it elevates the subject matter, leaving this viewer with a much deeper sense of appreciation for the Karen. I laughed at them, and it made my like both of them more.

The story is dramatized through carefully and minutely constructed sets populated by Barbie dolls clothed in carefully crafted period clothes. Karen's descent into anorexia is represented through whittling down the face and arms of the Barbie doll that portrays her, which has an effect both hilarious and disturbing.

All in all, it feels so much like a "real" documentary, I can't tell you that it isn't. It's treatment of the subject of annorexia and it's effect on Karen's life is at once silly and serious.

I saw it on DVD. The box had next to nothing printed on it. It was obviously bootlegged from somewhere, but the print I saw had good quality audio and visual.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
spanking? ithrowpopcorn
it can be found online! Chestereatsthebanana
richard? trinablonde
i have also been waiting 10 years babs2002ukus
I Love This Movie neonboy619
the ending talula32

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?