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Mommie Dearest (1981)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  18 September 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 9,964 users  
Reviews: 158 user | 71 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.



(book), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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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 <gamidd01@morehead-st.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 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
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Did You Know?


A month after the film was released to bad reviews, audiences flocked to see the film armed with Ajax and wire hangers to actively "participate" with the film in a manner similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Paramount seized on this new found notoriety and began to bill the film as a camp classic, with ads and posters proclaiming, "Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all!" See more »


When Joan is spanking Christina with the wire hanger next to Christopher's bed, a blanket covering Christina appears and disappears between each blow. See more »


[after discovering dirt underneath a large indoor planter]
Joan Crawford: Ohhhh... Helga. When you polish the floor, you have the move the tree. If you can't do something right, don't do it at all.
Helga: I'm sorry, Miss Crawford...
Joan Crawford: Gimmie the soap. You see, Carol Ann, you've got to stay on top of things every single minute.
[doorbell rings]
Joan Crawford: Carol Ann, will you get that?
Carol Ann: Yes, Miss Crawford.
Joan Crawford: Helga, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt.
See more »


Referenced in Archer: Mole Hunt (2009) See more »


To Each His Own
Written by Jay Livingston (as Livingston) & Ray Evans (as Evans)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

25 September 2004 | by (Vancouver) – See all my reviews

Indisputable classic of the highest order, 'Mommie Dearest' just SCREAMS cult hit every chance it gets, and just about ruined Faye Dunaway's reputation in the process. Mind you, there's nothing WRONG with Dunaway's performance, as a matter of fact, it's really good, but what's so good about it is how she plays every scene with fearless abandon, whether it's the wirehanger scene, the departure from MGM or chokeslamming Christina through a glass table, Dunaway gives 100% percent! And you should too! The first half is MUCH more frenetic then the 2nd half (aka young Christina vs Old) and the first part has all the best bits, but not to say the 2nd part is good too, it really starts to mellow out and (gasp) you start to feel SOME compassion to the old broad. Diana Scarwid is good too, although her playing what looks to be a 13 year old girl looks a bit too much.

This wasn't my first time at this rodeo (I'd seen this before) and I enjoyed it as much as I had the first time!

37 of 49 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
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
If Faye wanted to make alot of $$$ cubkisser66
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