MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 108 this week

Mommie Dearest (1981)

6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,673 users  
Reviews: 151 user | 62 critic

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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 20 Jan 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 07 May 2012
 
all
a list of 44 titles
created 14 Oct 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 20 Aug 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Mommie Dearest" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Mommie Dearest (1981)

Mommie Dearest (1981) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mommie Dearest.

User Polls

8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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 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  

After her cheating husband leaves her, Mildred Pierce proves she can become independent and successful, but cannot seem to win the approval of her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
On the Bridge (1992)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary of director Perry's own fight with cancer, which he ultimately lost in 1995.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Frank Perry, Lauren Bacall, Ohad Rossen
Short | Drama
    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
The Secret Storm (1954–1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

Family secrets and hidden passions are the hallmarks of this dark, moody serial. Set in the fictional community of Woodbridge, New York, The Secret Storm tells the story of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Julie Mannix, Larry Weber, Keith Charles
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Howard Da Silva ...
Mara Hobel ...
...
Harry Goz ...
Michael Edwards ...
...
...
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:

To my darling Christina, with love...Mommie Dearest See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 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 first, final and only ever film and TV credit for writing for director Frank Perry. See more »

Goofs

Carol-Ann seems to suddenly drop right out of the sky to oversee the pool race between Joan and Christina. You can briefly glimpse her while Joan and Gregg are having their previous discussion, over Gregg's shoulder when he says "Who calls, I run?", but in other shots she clearly isn't there. See more »

Quotes

Christopher: As usual, she has the last word.
Christina: Does she?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ryan & Ruby: Nightmare on 118th Street (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

June In January
Written by Ralph Rainger (as Rainger) & Leo Robin (as Robin)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mommie Deadly: An Alternate Reality In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
11 June 2007 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Given the film's current cult movie status one is tempted to believe the 1981 MOMMIE DEAREST was a critical debacle and a box office fiasco. That is not really the case. It is true that critics generally considered the film a failure, but many of them admired certain elements of it; it is also true that box office fell below expectations, but it was not a box office disaster in the same sense as the 1980 HEAVEN'S GATE or the 1981 INCHON.

It is also true, however, that audiences howled with laughter at the film when it debuted, and although leading lady Faye Dunaway received a number of critical accolades for her performance as Joan Crawford, she also received an equal number of devastating reviews--and it was these that caught the spotlight. It was a humiliating experience for an actress particularly noted for her perfectionism, and rumor has it that Dunaway feels the film ended her career as a major film star. Whatever the case, Dunaway quickly developed a strategic silence about the film that she has maintained for some two decades.

Seen today, it is easy to identify the core problems of the film. The most obvious is the script, which is extremely inconsistent in quality and yet perversely consistent in a style that can only be described as soap opera hot-house to the nth degree. This is particularly true of the dialogue assigned to Dunaway. Infamous lines such as "No More Wire Hangers Ever," "Tina! Bring Me The Axe," and "I'm Not Mad At You, I'm Mad At The Dirt" have become a staple of every drag queen from Maine to California.

But the ultimate disaster here is director Frank Perry. Joan Crawford was a larger-than-life personality; the role is written to reflect this; Dunaway plays the role as it was written. But it would seem Perry sought to heighten the effect: the rest of the cast is extremely, extremely restrained. This must have seemed like a good idea in theory, but it proves a terrible mistake in actual fact. No matter what Dunaway does with it, she can NEVER seem less than wildly overwrought in comparison to the rest of the cast, and the effect is very peculiar indeed.

The designs and the cinematography also clash in an incredibly bizarre way. There is absolutely no doubt that everything about the film is exactingly accurate: that is indeed the look of the period, right down to the very last detail. But the photography is extremely flat, and you are constantly aware that the sets are indeed movie sets, the costumes are movie costumes, and so on. Yes, it is all beautifully rendered, but you can't buy into it as anything real.

The Hollywood Royalty Edition DVD edition offers a good but by no means flawless print of the film and several bonuses. It is unfortunate that they are not particularly illuminating. While director John Water's commentary is enjoyable, he approaches the film only as a fan. Even so, Water does make several telling points: many of the things that Crawford does which seem so odd (bathing the face in ice, for example) are actually commonplace cosmetic necessities for movie stars; many of the things the film treats as abuse were, although carried to wild extremes in the story, typical of child-rearing practices of the 1940s and 1950s.

There are also three short documentaries featuring a number of cast members, most notably Diana Scarwid; these are actually entertaining for the fact that those who appear still seem to regard the film as "a good movie." The only really significant interview is with Lypsinka, an artist who has driven Crawford impersonations to the level of wicked satire and high art, and who offers a number of interesting personal insights into the iconography involved.

Like the film itself, the bonus package has two great failures. The first is that Faye Dunaway does not appear in interview or commentary; it would be very interesting to have her own take on the film, its failures, and its afterlife. Given her sentiment, it is an understandable non-involvement; less understandable, however, that there is not so much as a potted biography of the actress--or indeed of any member of the cast, for there are no written notes of any kind.

The second great failure of the bonus package is that it contains no factual information on either Joan or Christina Crawford. There is no indication here that those who knew both women are sharply divided over the accuracy of the portraits both here and in the book by Christina Crawford from which the film is drawn. A number of people, including actresses Betty Hutton and June Allyson, supported Christina Crawford's accounts, but an equal number, including actress Myrna Loy and Christina's younger siblings, flatly stated that Christina's accusations were largely fictitious.

When all is said and done, and in spite of performances and moments that are actually extremely good in isolation, MOMMIE DEAREST is a film that falls under the "so bad it's good" category of cult films. While I am taken aback by the bizarre nature of the movie, I personally find the amusement involved almost as dark as the movie's plot; it is not among my cult film favorites. Even so, I can understand the appeal it has for others, and I give it five stars on that basis.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer


39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Mommie Dearest' Hits home for me. tminnie
How could anyone find this movie funny? coupleofflakes2
I think Christina's story checks out. And there is proof. j-s-inbrewer
Why Did everyone dislike the movie so much? Kylkoog
What's wrong with wire hangers? Normal-Bates
One of My Mother's Favourite Films -Saw Nothing Wrong With the Behaviour cgrady-2
Discuss Mommie Dearest (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?