7.0/10
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20 user 18 critic

Sparkle (1976)

PG | | Drama, Music | 7 April 1976 (USA)
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3:06 | Trailer
Three sisters form a singing group in 1950s Harlem, but success threatens to ruin their relationship forever.

Director:

Sam O'Steen

Writers:

Howard Rosenman (story), Joel Schumacher
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Michael Thomas ... Stix (as Philip M. Thomas)
Irene Cara ... Sparkle
Lonette McKee ... Sister
Dwan Smith ... Delores
Mary Alice ... Effie
Dorian Harewood ... Levi
Tony King ... Satin
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Mrs. Waters
Paul Lambert ... Moe
Joyce Easton Joyce Easton ... Lee
Otis Day ... Ham (as De Wayne Jessie)
Norma Miller ... Doreen
Talya Ferro Talya Ferro ... Miss Taylor
Bob Delegall Bob Delegall ... Mr. Daniels (as Robert W. Delegall)
Armelia McQueen Armelia McQueen ... Tune Ann
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Storyline

Three sisters (Sister and the Sisters) from Harlem become singers. Sister (Lonette McKee) becomes involved with drugs, while Sparkle (Irene Cara) ends up being the one who gets famous. This film tells of how drugs ruin Sister's relationships and eventually end her life. It is also about the relationship between Sparkle and Stix (Philip Michael Thomas). Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blysk See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joel Shumacher's screenwriting debut. He would later go on to write the screenplay for The Wiz (1978) which starred Diana Ross whose background as one of The Supremes served as inspiration for this film. See more »

Goofs

When Stix is working in the record store, the year is 1958, but there is a 1960 Coasters LP, "One On One" that is clearly present in the front of the store. See more »

Quotes

Sister: [after Delores and Sparkle discover her drug addiction] Can't you see? Sister can't fly on only one wing.....
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK releases are cut by 26 secs to remove footage of cockfighting. See more »

Connections

Remade as Sparkle (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Dedicated to the One I Love
(uncredited)
Written by Ralph Bass and Lowman Pauling
See more »

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User Reviews

Predictable Story but Music and Performances Make It Worth Watching
17 August 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Sparkle (1976)

*** (out of 4)

Set in Brooklyn during the 1950s, the story revolves around Sparkle (Irene Cara), a talented teenager who joins a band with her two sisters but things start to unravel when the older sister gets involved with drugs. Based on the story of The Supremes, SPARKLE is a pretty entertaining gem that manages to get you caught up in the story even though there's no question it's all rather predictable and at times too cute for its own good. I think the most attractive thing the film has going for it are the songs composed by Curtis Mayfield. The songs really capture the mood and spirit of R&B during this period and while none of the songs can compare to the real hits of the day, I think each of them are good enough to at least help draw you into the story. Another major plus is the performance of Cara who easily steals the film. From the very first time you see Cara she just grabs you up and takes you along on this journey. Another good performance comes from Philip Michael Thomas as the man in her life trying to make her see how special of a talent she has. Lonette McKee is also good as the older sister who gets mixed up in the drugs. Director Sam O'Steen does a very good job with the details of the era and I thought he managed to make the scenery very realistic. You really do feel as if you're in the 1950s and that certainly helps the movie. Joel Schumacher wrote the screenplay and does a pretty nice job with the story even though there's no doubt that it's a tad bit too simple and I'd also argue that it could have avoided the blaxploitation notion that all white people are evil and just out to do bad things (the money lenders in this film). Still, SPARKLE is a good little musical that's worth seeing and especially if you enjoy the music of the period.


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