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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.

Director:

Todd Haynes
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Cast

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

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Iced Tea Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Richard: Karen, wake up. Come on, we've got fifteen minutes.
[discovers laxatives by Karen's bed]
Richard: What are you doing with these?
Karen: Oh, I'm so sleepy.
Richard: How many laxatives did you take?
Karen: I hardly remember.
Richard: What are you trying to do? Ruin both our careers? Now, get up. Drink some coffee. Now, come on! We've got fifteen minutes! Redo your makeup! You're a mess!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no ending credits, the film ends after shots of newspaper headlines detailing Karen Carpenter's death. See more »

Connections

Version of The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

(They Long to Be) Close to You
Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Performed by The Carpenters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A documentary of Karen Carpenter's Struggles with Eating Disorders
14 July 2006 | by j922-1See 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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