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Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

Not Rated  |   |  Short, Music  |  30 April 1988 (USA)
7.9
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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.

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Title: Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)

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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)
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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

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Release Date:

30 April 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 Partridge Family (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A documentary of Karen Carpenter's Struggles with Eating Disorders
14 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having personally suffered from anorexia and bulimia, my family and I were shown this movie during my in-hospital treatment for my eating disorder. It is highly effective, touching, real, and it does not glamorize or sugarcoat the ugliness and devastation eating disorders cause. I would highly recommend it to anyone, as it starts at the beginning of Karen Carpenter's struggles and depicts her life-long struggle and untimely death. I feel it is a must for any young person facing weight issues, self-esteem issues, or anything of the sort. It is eloquently done, and a must see. The movie involves Barbie dolls, and while it may sound silly, it is so effective that it still makes me think today, ten years after my recovery.


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