7.9/10
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40 user 34 critic

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

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Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Суперзвезда: История Карен Карпентер  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Todd Haynes made Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story while he was completing his MFA at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. 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

Narrator: Following World War II, and the end of rationing in the early 50s, America was reacquainted with food as plentiful and cheap. There were vast changes in food delivery, availability and storage. Refrigerators, already a part of the American kitchen, became common place and thus eliminated the need for daily shopping. The growth of supermarkets with their rows and rows of dairy products, canned goods, meats, condiments, bakery goods, vegetables, fruits and staples, brought a large display of food...
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Connections

Features I Dream of Jeannie (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

(They Long to Be) Close to You
Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Performed by The Carpenters
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User Reviews

 
More tastefully done than you might guess
28 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

All of Todd Haynes' heroes are outsiders, even Karen Carpenter. As portrayed in "Superstar," she's too square to hang with anyone hipper than Dionne Warwick, but too grown-up to cope with the strict confines of her suburban upbringing, and ceaselessly stalked by the insecurity manifested in her anorexia. Some of the details are probably over-sensationalized, and Richard probably deserved a fairer shake than the movie gave him, but the essentials of Karen's battle with herself are all there in chilling detail. Oh yeah, and the songs, featuring Karen's lead vocals and drumming, and Richard's underrated arrangements, are pretty good too. If you can't see this one, at least get hold of the songs and update your ears.


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