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Mommie Dearest
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Mommie Dearest (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Christina Crawford (book)
Frank Yablans (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Mommie Dearest on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1981 (USA) See more »
To my darling Christina, with love...Mommie Dearest See more »
The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
11 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
You Will Never See Mildred Pierce The Same See more (164 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Faye Dunaway ... Joan Crawford

Diana Scarwid ... Christina Crawford (adult)

Steve Forrest ... Greg Savitt

Howard Da Silva ... Louis B. Mayer
Mara Hobel ... Christina Crawford (child)

Rutanya Alda ... Carol Ann
Harry Goz ... Alfred Steele

Michael Edwards ... Ted Gelber

Jocelyn Brando ... Barbara Bennett

Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Chadwick
Joe Abdullah ... Captain
Gary Allen ... Jimmy
Selma Archerd ... Connie
Adrian Aron ... Wedding Guest

Xander Berkeley ... Christopher Crawford (adult)
Matthew Campion ... Actor in Soap
Carolyn Coates ... Mother Superior

Jerry Douglas ... Radio Interviewer
Margaret Fairchild ... Mother Superior
Phillip R. Allen ... Pepsi Executive #1
James Kirkwood Jr. ... Master of Ceremonies
Michael Hawkins ... Pepsi Executive #2 (as Michael Gainsborough)
Matthew Faison ... Pepsi Executive #3

Peter Jason ... Pepsi Executive #4
Ellen Feldman ... Ginny

Robert Harper ... David

Cathy Lind Hayes ... Nurse
Victoria James ... Photographer

Dawn Jeffory ... Vera
Virginia Kiser ... Beth Simpson
S. John Launer ... Pepsi Chairman
Russ Marin ... Funeral Director

Nicholas Mele ... Assistant Director #2

Belita Moreno ... Belinda Rosenberg

Warren Munson ... Lawyer

Alice Nunn ... Helga
Norman Palmer ... Male Guest

David Price ... Tony
Jeremy Scott Reinbolt ... Christopher Crawford (child)

Michael Talbott ... Driver
Arthur Taxier ... Decorator
Joe Warren ... Mr. Dodd (as Joseph Warren)
Erica Wexler ... Susan
Dick McGarvin ... Tour Bus Driver
Brent Dunsford ... Fan
Joseph Dypwick ... Fan
Wendy Pitzer ... Fan
David Sanderson ... Fan
Iain Bruce ... Assistant Director (as Ian Bruce)
Peter Eastman ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Josh Gans ... Boy on carousel (uncredited)
Lars Hensen ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Keith Paul Hunter ... Orphan (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Perry 
Writing credits
Christina Crawford (book)

Frank Yablans (screenplay) &
Frank Perry (screenplay) and
Tracy Hotchner (screenplay) and
Robert Getchell (screenplay)

Produced by
David Koontz .... executive producer
Neil A. Machlis .... associate producer
Terence O'Neill .... executive producer
Frank Yablans .... producer
Original Music by
Henry Mancini 
Cinematography by
Paul Lohmann 
Film Editing by
Peter E. Berger 
Casting by
Nancy Klopper 
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Bill Malley 
Art Direction by
Harold Michelson 
Set Decoration by
Richard C. Goddard 
Costume Design by
Irene Sharaff 
Makeup Department
Kathryn Blondell .... hair stylist: Ms. Dunaway
Claude Díaz .... wig maker: Faye Dunaway
Lee Harman .... makeup artist: Ms. Dunaway
Charles H. Schram .... makeup artist
Vivienne Walker .... hair stylist
Sylvia Nava .... hair technician (uncredited)
Production Management
Neil A. Machlis .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alan B. Curtiss .... second assistant director
Michael Daves .... first assistant director
Robert J. Doherty .... second assistant director
Art Department
Matty Azzarone .... assistant property master
Jeff Clark .... sign writer
Kent H. Johnson .... property master
Eugene S. Kelley .... construction coordinator
Margie Stone McShirley .... set designer
Peter Van Zyl .... greensman
Sound Department
Clint Althouse .... boom operator
David E. Campbell .... re-recording mixer
Denis Dutton .... sound effects editor
Cecelia Hall .... sound effects editor
Sean Hanley .... dialogue loop editor
David J. Hudson .... re-recording mixer
Larry Jost .... sound mixer
John T. Reitz .... re-recording mixer
George Watters II .... sound effects editor
Special Effects by
Joseph P. Mercurio .... special effects
Ken Speed .... special effects assistant
Sherry Peterson .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Doug J. Campbell .... dolly grip (as Douglas J. Campbell)
R.B. Garig .... dolly grip
J. Michael Marlett .... gaffer
John C. Moulds .... second assistant camera
Leo J. Napolitano .... first assistant camera
Ralph Nelson .... still photographer (as Ralph Nelson Jr.)
Guy Polzel .... key grip
Timothy E. Wade .... camera operator
Casting Department
Deborah Brown .... casting: New York
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James P. Cullen .... costumer
Bernadene C. Mann .... costumer: Ms. Dunaway
Eric Seelig .... costume supervisor: men
Andrea E. Weaver .... costume supervisor
Robert Iannaccone .... costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Greig McRitchie .... assistant film editor
Music Department
June Edgerton .... music editor
John C. Hammell .... music editor
Joel Moss .... music scoring mixer
Jack Sheldon .... musician: trumpet soloist
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Jonathan Williams .... musician: cello soloist
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Dan Goldwasser .... soundtrack producer (uncredited)
Henry Mancini .... conductor (uncredited)
Henry Mancini .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Henry Mancini .... score producer (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trumpet soloist (uncredited)
John Neufeld .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Ethmer Roten .... musician: flute (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Joel Marrow .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Mauri Syd Gayton .... production coordinator
Ileen Maisel .... assistant: Mr. Yablans
Marshall Schlom .... script supervisor
Jonathan A. Zimbert .... technical advisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
129 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:14A (Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:PG | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:12A (theatrical re-release) (re-rating) (2013) | UK:15 (video rating) (1987) | USA:R (original rating) | USA:PG (re-rating on appeal) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The first film to nearly "sweep" the Golden Raspberry Awards (or RAZZIES), with five "wins" (including Worst Picture and three out of four acting awards) from a then-record nine nominations.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Joan brings Christina home from Chadwick school, she is wearing a hat, gloves and skirt all in the 50s style, which is correct. Her coat is an a-line design, boxy and shapeless, with a huge 70s pointed collar. This coat would not have been worn by Joan in the 50s as she was always wearing the very latest styles.See more »
Joan Crawford:Look at this floor. Do you call that clean? Do you?
Christina Crawford:Miss Jenkins said it was clean.
Joan Crawford:Miss Jenkins said it was clean? Do YOU think it's clean? Do YOU think it's clean? Look at that, DO you?
Christina Crawford:Yes, I do.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Minuet in F (from Water Music)See more »


How faithful is this movie to the book, and is it an accurate portrayal of real events?
See more »
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
You Will Never See Mildred Pierce The Same, 20 September 2015
Author: ArchAngel Michael from Sword Of The Protector

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (164 total) »


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