Mommie Dearest, best selling memoir, turned motion picture, depicts the abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother...screen queen Joan Crawford.



(book), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
4,725 ( 247)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former child star torments her crippled sister in a decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a 20 year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Nine to Five (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton
Queen Bee (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young woman arrives at the home of her socialite cousin, and soon finds herself sucked into the woman's complex web of deceit.

Director: Ranald MacDougall
Stars: Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan, Betsy Palmer
Mask (1985)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A teenager with a massive facial skull deformity and biker gang mother attempt to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Cher, Eric Stoltz, Sam Elliott
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, reclusive southern belle, plagued by a horrifying family secret, descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm
Tootsie (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Film version of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel chronicling the rise and fall of three young ladies in show business.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Seven stories contained in letters received by the Mother of Perpetual Help Shrine at Baclaran, Phillippines.

Director: Mar S. Torres
Stars: Van De Leon, Lilibeth Vera-Perez, Nenita Jana


Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Da Silva ...
Mara Hobel ...
Harry Goz ...
Michael Edwards ...
Joe Abdullah ...
Gary Allen ...
Selma Archerd ...
Adrian Aron ...
Wedding Guest
Christopher Crawford (adult)


Based on the book about Joan Crawford, one of the great Hollywood actresses of our time, written by her adopted daughter Christina Crawford. Joan decides to adopt children of her own to fill a void in her life. Yet, her problems with alcohol, men, and the pressures of show business get in the way of her personal life, turning her into a mentally abusive wreck seen through the eyes of Christina and her brother Christopher, who unwillingly bore the burden of life that was unseen behind the closed doors of "The Most Beautiful House in Brentwood." Written by Geoffrey A. Middleton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all! See more »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maman très chère  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The lobby cards issued for the film contain scenes from several sequences that were deleted from the final cut of the film, including: - Joan driving through the MGM lot in her car, apparently just before she visits L.B. Mayer & finds out she's fired. - Joan talking to young Christina on the beach. - Adult Christina talking to Joan while wearing the same dress she wears to the awards ceremony at the film's conclusion. See more »


The men on the board of directors of Pepsi Cola are dressed in current (1981) suits, ties, and hairstyles in the showdown between them and Crawford. This scene would have taken place in 1959, so only Crawford is dressed correctly for the period. See more »


Joan Crawford: I fix ALL my uncles drinks this way.
See more »


Referenced in Ted (2012) See more »


I'm Sitting On Top Of The World
by Sam Lewis, Joe Young (as Young) & Ray Henderson (as Henderson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

You Will Never See Mildred Pierce The Same
20 September 2015 | by (Sword Of The Protector) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

Studios manage their stars public images like gardeners do gardens. After watching this movie, based on Christine Crawford's scathing book, the plot of Mildred Pierce will unfold to you. I gave that classic a ten because I hold that a film should be judged on its merits alone. Here the movie opens with Joan's preparation for going to the studio with vanity the level that would be commensurate with an audience with the Deity. It has to be seen to be believed. The movie starts as her career is at zenith and follows the downslope with the exception being her Oscar for Mildred Pierce. Louis Mayer, while calling her 'Hollywood royalty' is gently handing her hat to her and opening the door out of MGM. Her infamous clean obsession is a wonderful depiction of the anal retentive personality. Watch what is was to be her maid or housekeeper, those of you not familiar with Freud, suffice to say it is not the floor that is dirty here. Joan is constantly trying to remove dirt from her surroundings never grasping it is an existential metaphor for her soul. The adopting of the children is delineated as a calculated public relations stunt. When she first proffers it, walking on the beach with Forrest, even he grasps its real purpose. As her career begins to decline, her cruelty to both children increases proportionately. I found this part completely logical and believable.

Dunaway was mocked for overacting mainly for the 'no wire hangers' with her face covered with an inch of cold cream looking like an undead fashion model. True, there are scenes where she goes over the top. Yet, remember she is all alone here. Forrest is more of a cameo role; Dunaway has to carry the entire movie upon her shoulders. With the exception of her bush clipping from Hell, Wire Hangers and the tackle and strangle Christina scene in front of Barbara the magazine writer, Dunaway does well. A few bad scenes do not equal a bad performance. The movie follows her later life, the TV career, the slasher pictures of the 50s and her marriage to the Pepsi president. This is my favorite scene where the Pepsi board, after her husband's death, tries to gently but firmly push her out. Watch Dunaway's best scene in film,"Wait until I come out publicly against your product, see how much you sell; don't F with me boys!!" That was Joan Crawford, she nails her, this scene is her best I have ever seen.

As a philosopher, trying to discern true from false here, I tend to believe Christina's version. I do think some of Christina's misbehavior that resulted in expulsion is downplayed and whitewashed over. Yet, think of the plot of Mildred Pierce: a saintly mother who slaves and toils for the most evil daughter in the history of cinema, Veda. I find this consanguinity a trifle too coincidental for my taste. It is clear the studio is trying to dispel the plethora of rumors surrounding their star and rehabilitate her by the role. Isn't it fascinating how Mildred's character is an otherworldly saintly paragon of nobility suffering for her Satanic daughter? Think of Christina's version of Joan Crawford when you watch it over. It is clear somebody is doing some damage control with Crawford's ruined image. Mildred Pierce will always be a legendary classic but, trust me, watch this movie and you will watch it with brand new eyes. Dunaway is a gifted actress; she was maligned for a few bad scenes here but on the whole she does an excellent job with an unsympathetic role. I admired her bravery in taking the role.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What did she put on the ice? cdbacon6
Faye Dunaway wrong for the part bcstoneb444
Christopher larassilveira
Do you think Joan knew that her daughter was going to write the book? onemanbond
I think Christina's story checks out. And there is proof. j-s-inbrewer
Why Did everyone dislike the movie so much? Kylkoog
Discuss Mommie Dearest (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: