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Sparkle (2007)

Dwan Smith , Irene Cara , Sam O' Steen  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dwan Smith, Irene Cara, Lonette McKee, Philip Thomas
  • Directors: Sam O' Steen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLTRH2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sparkle" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Before Dreamgirls hit cineplexes in 2006, there was Sparkle. Released in 1976, the low-budget movie (which is also loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes) achieved somewhat of a cult following among fans that enjoy a good cry along with their kitsch. Sparkle tells the rags-to-riches (and rags again, for some of the characters) tale of three sisters with gorgeous voices. There's Sister (Lonette McKee), Sparkle (Irene Cara, Fame), and Delores (Dwan Smith), who team up with a couple of players (including a very young Philip Michael Thomas, pre-Miami Vice) to form a singing group. Because the men add little oomph to the outfit, the quintet becomes an all-girl trio and is renamed the redundant (and hysterical) Sister and the Sisters. But because this movie is called Sparkle and not Sister, we know that Irene Cara's character is the one to watch. Cara is a joy to listen to when she unleashes her powerful pipes. And as the much put-upon Sister, McKee is convincing and earns the viewer's sympathy. Set in the 1950's, the movie tackles racism, sexism, jealousy, and both chemical and physical abuse. While it is overly dramatic and liberally serves up sloppy doses of soap opera clichés, the film also is highly watchable because of its over-the-top campiness. --Jae-Ha Kim

Product Description

Irene Cara (Fame) and Lonette McKee (Round Midnight) sing and struggle their way to show-business glory in a Supremes-like girl group. Dynamite Curtis Mayfield soundtrack.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Sparkle" SPARKLES! September 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film in the movies as a teenager and I've never forgotten how it made me laugh, cry and want to sing right along. "Sparkle" is the fictional story of the struggles of three Harlem sisters who are trying to make it in the music business in the late 1950s, but each of them encounter individual problems on the road to fame. Only one of the sisters eventually go on to stardom, while one gets engulfed into the street life, with heartbreaking results, and the other hates the life she's living and decides to leave for good.

There are fine performances in this movie. Irene Cara (who plays "Sparkle"), Lonette McKee, and Dorian Harewood are particular standouts. Look for future "Miami Vice" star, Philip Michael Thomas, as Sparkle's enterprising boyfriend. It has been compared to Broadway's "Dreamgirls" and the Supremes' story, but it has its own strengths, plus a slammin' soundtrack, written and produced by the late, great Curtis Mayfield, and sung by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. "Something He Can Feel" is STILL the jam. I gave it four stars because the ending was predictable, but all around this is a wonderful film. Highly recommended. Now where's the DVD?
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Can I Do? Buy This DVD!! December 15, 2006
By Duane
Format:DVD
I thought for sure this DVD would be released in 2001 for a 25th year anniversary. When that year can and went, I figured 2006 would be the year of release for the movie's 30th year anniversary. Oh well, at least the DVD is finally being released.

The release of this movie in 1976 was a big deal in Detroit, because it was the movie debut of Detroit native Lonette McKee. She even attended the Detroit premiere! Her reviews were great, and she had appearances on many talk shows afterwards--including Dinah Shore's. On one show, she expressed disappointment that an album featuring the songs as sung by her, Irene Cara, and others in the movie wasn't released, but thanked Aretha Franklin for recording an album featuring the songs from the film. She was later cast as Ali's wife in the movie 'The Greatest', but later quit after creative differences with the director. She was then cast as one of the female co-stars in the hilarious 1977 movie 'Which Way Is Up?' with Richard Pryor (who had taken McKee under his wing and who she was rumored to have been dating). Her next big movie role was in 'The Cotton Club' in 1984, where she played a Cotton Club girl who later passes for white to get gigs in higher-paying clubs. Other roles include Haley's tv movie 'Queen' (where she played a slave who passes for white) and Oprah Winfrey's tv movie 'The Women of Brewster Place' (where she played a lesbian school teacher fearful of losing her job if her sexuality became known).

Back to 'Sparkle'...One of my all-time favorite movie characters is the tall, sexy, strutting, long-haired, high-yellow, gum-chewing, I'm-hot-and-I-know-it Sister! McKee owns the movie, and the three girls in red dresses singing "Hooked On Your Love" is a screen classic!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVORITE MOVIE! January 3, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I must say Sparkle is my favorite movie. I've seen it probably hundreds of times since the 70's. Lonette McKee and Irene Cara were great in this movie. Making it big in the "Music Business" was their dream until Sister (Lonette McKee) let something over power her dreams. Fortunately, Sparkle (Irene Cara) was able to succeed with the help and encouragement of her boyfriend Stix (Philip Michael Thomas). This is definitely an African-American Classic. I hear there's going to be a remake of this film soon. It may be good, but it will never come close to the original.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IF IT FEELS THIS GOOD IT MUST BE A SIN!!!! January 13, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled when Sparkle finally became available on dvd, because I refused to buy it on vhs! Unfortunately the packaging is very misleading regarding it being a 2disc set, considering it's a single disc with a cd of the soundtrack, which only includes a few songs. Normally I would'nt find fault in the extra disc, but I just hated the fact that the original soundtrack does not include the songs being sung by the girls in the movie. When I first hear a song I enjoy there is an instant connection to the person who sings it. When I heard Lonnette McKee sing Hooked on your Love or Irene Cara sing Look into your Heart, these are the singers who I want to hear on the soundtrack not Aretha Franklin!!!

Eventhough Aretha is the Queen of Soul she did'nt sing those songs in the movie, and therefore did not make them her own!!!

Despite a few flaws in the dvd release of Sparkle, I did really enjoy seeing this 70's classic!!! I always thought Phillip Michael Thomas and Irene Cara were pure magic together. She possessed such a sweet innocence as Sparkle and Phillip Michael Thomas was just so damn fine!!!! And still is!!!! He's aged very well!!! It would have been nice to see a current interview with the original cast, but unfortunately alot of older black films from the 70's just don't get the royal treatment like alot of current films that get released on dvd. At this point I'll just be grateful that Sparkle is finally available on dvd!!!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST Movie hidden!!! May 2, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Sparkle is a classic and excellent cast and directed film. This movie is hidden from getting the attention that is deserves. The story and acting is superb! It's a classic movie in the class with "The Imitation of Life" (but a different type of story here). I STRONGLY recommend this film.
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Sparkle new DVD cover
I feel ya on that one. If you gonna do it, do it right. I mean dang, they always gotta do "our" movies anykind of way. I first saw this movie with Mom Dukes when I was 8 years old and we continued to watch it on tape until the tape just was useless. I'm just glad they finally put... Read More
Jan 12, 2007 by Reggie L. Mattocks |  See all 6 posts
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