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Domineering Harriet Craig holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Among those she treats like household objects are her kind husband Walter, whom she has lied to about her inability to have children; her cousin Claire, whom she treats like a secretary; and her servants whom she treats like slaves. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What a total hoot this movie is... Joan Crawford, in FULL authority (matched only by her even more imperious turn in the later "Queen Bee") runs her ideal house and the people in it as though she were a puppeteer and her husband and servants are nothing more than marionettes at her disposal. The fun begins right off the bat as the staff trudges up and down her magnificent staircase and flutter about tending to her every whim. None of this is good enough for her, though. She takes turns knocking the wind out of each of their sails for things like taking too long, using the wrong steps and allowing unwanted flowers to enter her home. Her attention to detail and monstrous obsession with order HAD to influence the makers of the character-assassinating, but uproariously funny "Mommie Dearest". Every move Crawford makes in this film is calculated and played for maximum impact. Her expressions are tight and telling. It's impossible to take one's eyes off her...especially with her array of stylishly scary outfits and severely unflattering hair. There's a perverse thrill in watching Crawford browbeat Grandma Walton (Corby)! Battered husband Corey (often cast as dull or menacing men) is a perfect counterpart here with a rare chance to show off some of his charm and appeal. Watson adds some sly wisdom to the proceedings as Corey's boss's wife and McKinney stands up to Joan very well as a long-term maid. At 94 minutes, the film is PERFECT entertainment when one is in the mood for some campy, classic fun.
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