6.7/10
11,007
164 user 75 critic

Mommie Dearest (1981)

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,486 ( 244)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their 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
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
Dear Emily (2001)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In this short film, a girl named Sara recalls her senior year of high school and the intense crush she had on another girl.

Director: Katherine Brooks
Stars: Katherine Brooks, Nicole Nieth, Natalie Canerday
Vera II (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Young girl spends her adolescence in an institution for minors, developing some masculine traits in her personality. In this hostile environment, she can only find some sympathy in a ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Toledo
Stars: Ana Beatriz Nogueira, Adriana Abujamra, Cida Almeida
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a twenty-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
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Laurent Bouzereau
Stars: Rutanya Alda, John Epperson, Diana Scarwid
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: David J. Skal
Stars: Rudy Behlmer, Paul M. Jensen, John Balderston Jr.
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mara Hobel ...
...
Harry Goz ...
...
...
...
Joe Abdullah ...
Captain
Gary Allen ...
Jimmy
Selma Archerd ...
Connie
Adrian Aron ...
Wedding Guest
...
Christopher Crawford (adult)
Edit

Storyline

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 <gamidd01@morehead-st.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest role of her life...was her life. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maman très chère  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's line "No wire hangers!" was voted as the #89 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007. See more »

Goofs

When Christina arrives home from Convent school, the driver of the car opens his door and the camera crew is reflected in the door. See more »

Quotes

[Christina has a bloody piece of steak on her lunch plate]
Joan Crawford: Christina, you haven't touched your lunch.
Christina Crawford: It's raw.
Joan Crawford: It's rare, not raw.
Christina Crawford: But it's got all this red juice when you push on it.
Joan Crawford: Then don't push on it. Darling, rare meat is good for you. The doctor said so. Christina, meat loses its vitamins if it's overcooked.
Christina Crawford: But I've had my vitamins this morning. Pills.
Joan Crawford: [to Carol-Ann] She negotiates everything like a goddamn Hollywood agent. Christina, eat your lunch. You are not getting up from this ...
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in RuPaul's Drag Race: The Snatch Game (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuet in F (from Water Music)
(uncredited)
Written by George Frideric Handel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Oh, God.
27 February 2005 | by (Baltimore, Maryland USA) – See all my reviews

This one actually goes half and half with me so its good and bad (or should I say it's so bad that it's good). I am a living witness (Hallelujah!) that whenever you are feeling down or depressed, watch "Mommie Dearest". But, word to the wise, don't watch it expecting good acting and wonderful relevance to the book, because you surely will not get it. The thing that makes the movie float above the rest of camp classics is the fact that it is based on an informative book by Joan's daughter, Christina. Therefore, it is to be dramatic and realistic like say "Guyana Tragedy" or "The Josephine Baker Story". But this movie is so unrealistic, it is funny. "And if you really want to roll over on the floor and have the mortician come to your house because you died laughing, I would recommend that you watch the whole thing on DVD and with French language (especially the wire hanger sequence). Hell, it doesn't matter if you don't speak the language, Mommie Dearest is like the opera, the emotions and movement will tell all you need to know, without understanding of the language. If I were giving an Oscar to Mommie Dearest, It would be for the beautiful silver dress Faye Dunaway has on... to take Christina's rancid, awful meat to the freezer, just so she can make the little snot eat it the next day. But as for the acting, no way! Faye goes over the top in her hammy performance as Joan, the poster-child for goggle eyed takes, shoulder pads, ankle-strapped shoes, and hypochondriac cleanliness. Diana Scarwid is so bland and uninteresting as Christina. and the rest of the cast... well, they are OK considering the parts they were given. But the only factors that could have made or broke Mommie Dearest were the two main characters therein, Joan and Christina Crawford. Scarwid broke the movie by vice of her apathy to the role she played (I would have thought in all accounts that if a child was abused, they would come out of it with a newfound understanding of their own inner strength and fight like hell to survive, which is what the real Christina did, according to the book. But, Scarwid is so unmotivated. She reminds me of my junior year Biology teacher, inane and in it for the paycheck. I think this performance is what caused Scarwid's Tinseltown demise. On the other hand, Dunaway hams it up and made the picture pass that thin line between drama and camp. Watch the movie. You will not think it Oscar Material but you will not be bored either.


24 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?