Mommie Dearest

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Released 1981

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Movie Summary

Director:
Frank Perry
Released:
1981
Rating:
PG
Mommie Dearest is the cult 1981 biopic infamous for its scathing portrait of Hollywood madness, directed by Frank Perry. Based on Christina Crawford's coffin-kicking book, the film traces her adoption by golden age film star Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway, Network, Chinatown), through hideous abuse she suffered at her mother's hands. The account begins circa 1945, just before Joan Crawford received her Oscar for the title role in Mildred Pierce. Christina had just entered the Crawford household and quickly finds out about 'Mommie's' erratic behavior. Later adopting a little boy, Joan Crawford appears desperate to gain the children's respect and love. To her adoring fans Ms. Crawford always appears to be the loving mother with a heart of gold. Behind closed doors the terror is on almost non-stop. Through about 10-15 years the children suffer emotionally and at times physically into young adulthood. Joan Crawford has the last laugh when neither of the children are remembered in her will.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Slant Magazine Eric Henderson

    Inscrutably powerful and brutally honest about diva worship as another form of male domination, Mommie Dearest is to camp what Medea was to Dr. Benjamin Spock.

  • 63

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jay Scott

    The Face is her face, the mannerisms are her mannerisms and Miss Dunaway manages magnificently to depict a woman whose acting off- screen is no better than her acting on.This is th...

  • 25

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Mommie Dearest is a painful experience that drones on endlessly, as Joan Crawford's relationship with her daughter, Christina, disintegrates from cruelty through jealousy into path...

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Categories

Drama

Themes

campy, bad parenting, primadonnas, parent and child, quotable