IMDb > Mommie Dearest (1981)
Mommie Dearest
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Mommie Dearest (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Mommie Dearest -- Outrageous and controversial, this is the story of legendary movie star Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) as she struggles for her career and battles the inner demons of her private life.


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6.6/10   9,843 votes »
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Down 2% 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:
18 September 1981 (USA) See more »
To my darling Christina, with love...Mommie Dearest See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
8 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"Why can't you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street?" See more (156 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
Ian Bruce ... Assistant Director
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 .... sound re-recording mixer
Denis Dutton .... sound effects editor
Cecelia Hall .... sound effects editor
Sean Hanley .... dialogue loop editor
David J. Hudson .... sound re-recording mixer
Larry Jost .... sound mixer
John T. Reitz .... sound 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
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Dan Goldwasser .... soundtrack producer (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:AA (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | 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?

Faye Dunaway mentions in her autobiography that she screamed herself hoarse during the filming for the notorious wire hanger tantrum scene in this movie. She called Frank Sinatra for help, and he gave her some pointers on how to get her voice back into shape.See more »
Anachronisms: The men on the board of directors of Pepsi Cola are dressed in current (1981) suits, ties, and hairstyles in the showdown between them and Crawford. This scene would have taken place in 1959, so only Crawford is dressed correctly for the period.See more »
Joan Crawford:[after giving Christina a pearl necklace as a gift] Oh, and Tina - if you don't get this part, for Chrissakes, don't hock 'em.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Zombie Dearest (2009)See more »
I'm Sitting On Top Of The WorldSee more »


How faithful is this movie to the book, and is it an accurate portrayal of real events?
See more »
24 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
"Why can't you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street?", 23 February 2001
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv

"Because I am NOT one of your FANS!"

Simply said, this is superb trash. Enjoyable b.s. Faye Dunaway lobbied hard for the role of Joan Crawford (Christina Crawford wanted Anne Bancroft) and she admirably sinks into the part with relish. I loved the opening montage of "Joan" preparing for her day early in the morning: scrubbing her hands and nails, numbing her face in ice cubes, leafing through a script in her car, getting made-up, and then whirling around in her chair and letting loose with a breathy, "Let's go!"... Sadly, Frank Perry's direction is awkward and unsure, cutting off some sequences before they're allowed to build and letting other scenes ramble on. The movie doesn't do justice to the riveting book by Joan's adopted daughter Christina, committing to film the book's highlights, the talked-about bits where Crawford freaked out, but skimping on the details. We learn absolutely nothing about Christina's many tormented years in an L.A. Catholic Boarding School (we see her check in and we see her check out). Joan's marriage to Pepsi czar Alfred Steele and her three other adopted kids are also given the short shrift. What we do get with "Mommie Dearest" is pure, unadulterated Faye. She acts up a storm and revels in these primal opportunities. It's one of the highlights of her spotty career. **1/2 from ****

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mommie Dearest (1981)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Faye Dunaway wrong for the part bcstoneb444
Christopher's harness... laceb
I think Christina's story checks out. And there is proof. j-s-inbrewer
Faye Dunaway's deep voice oknar1977
Why Did everyone dislike the movie so much? Kylkoog
I haven't seen this movie or read the book but Thecluelessone022
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