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Sparkle (1976)

Irene Cara and Philip Michael Thomas in Sparkle (1976)

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I was surprised that the original film was written by Joel Schumacher, who went on to gayify Batman and direct St. Elmo’s Fire and The Client. But I was more surprised by Irene Cara in the title role. She’s so young, so vulnerable, and her singing is as soulful as Jordin Sparks is studied. As Sister, Lonette McKee is stunning, both vocally and visually, and it’s odd that she never became a superstar. While the film is full of cheesy dialogue – Philip Michael Thomas delivering much of it as Sticks – the depiction of 1950s Harlem and both Cara and Mary Alice’s performances have an authenticity that the new version never achieves. It was the only film the acclaimed film editor Sam O’Steen directed, and it’s a shame, because it’s a beautifully shot movie.

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2012. Filed under DVD of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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