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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mara Hobel ...
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Harry Goz ...
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Joe Abdullah ...
Captain
Gary Allen ...
Jimmy
Selma Archerd ...
Connie
Adrian Aron ...
Wedding Guest
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Storyline

The relationship between Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother Joan Crawford is presented from Christina's view. Unable to bore children, Joan, in 1940, was denied children through regular adoption agencies due to her twice divorced status and being a single working person. Her lover at the time, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lawyer Greg Savitt, was able to go through a brokerage to adopt a baby girl, who would be Christina, the first of Joan's four adoptive children. Joan believes that her own difficult upbringing has made her a stronger person, and decides that, while providing the comforts that a successful Hollywood actress can afford, she will not coddle Christina or her other children, she treating Christina more as a competitor than a daughter. Joan's treatment of Christina is often passive-aggressive, fueled both by the highs and lows of her career, the narcissism that goes along with being an actress, and alcohol abuse especially during the low times. However, Joan sees much of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The meanest mother of them all... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maman très chère  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$905,920 (USA) (20 September 1981)

Gross:

$19,032,261 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The location seen here as Joan Crawford's Bevery Hills mansion was also used as Jesse White's palatial home in the final "Beach Party" movie, Pajama Party. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[after weathering a vicious rampage where Joan demolishes both her bedroom and bathroom]
Christina Crawford: Jesus Christ.
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Connections

Referenced in Hot in Cleveland: Life with Lucci (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Away in a Manger
(uncredited)
Traditional lyrics, tune attributed variously to William J. Kirkpatrick or James Murray
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tombstone
28 September 2009 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

I resisted to see "Mommie Dearest" for years but last night I lost a bet and I was forced to sit through it. Surprise. It didn't provoke what I thought it was going to provoke. Nothing personal really. A bad TV movie, cheap in every department, the production design, the hair and make up, the script, oh my God, the script. I never read Christina Crawford's book, maybe it was this amateurishly bad. Anne Bancroft was first going to play Crawford but fortunately she came to her senses. Dunaway has been paying the price ever since. You don't mess around with Crawford, didn't she know that? Other than the outrageous performance by Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid gives her Christina a certain amount of dignity, perhaps more dignity than Christina deserved. The supporting cast seems like a round up of the last resort. Atrocious. So much so that it's not even funny. I bet Joan Crawford is turning in her grave unsure whether to cry or to laugh.


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