IMDb > Mommie Dearest (1981)
Mommie Dearest
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Mommie Dearest (1981) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 15 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   8,559 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 27% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Mommie Dearest on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 September 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
To my darling Christina, with love...Mommie Dearest See more »
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
8 wins & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(207 articles)
Beauty Vs Beast: The Devil & Chris MacNeil
 (From FilmExperience. 21 July 2014, 9:05 AM, PDT)

Film Review: ‘Honour’
 (From Variety - Film News. 11 July 2014, 4:05 PM, PDT)

Under the Dome Season 2 Premiere Recap: May the Force Be With You
 (From TVLine.com. 30 June 2014, 9:04 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Words Can't Do Justice See more (150 total) »

Cast

  (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)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Frank Perry 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Christina Crawford  book
Robert Getchell 
Tracy Hotchner 
Frank Perry 
Frank Yablans 

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
 
Stunts
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
 
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
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
129 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Chile:14 | 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?

Trivia:
The film was made and released about three years after Christina Crawford's auto-biography of the same name was first published in 1978 and about four years after Joan Crawford's passing in 1977.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: In a scene set in the late Sixties, Joan Crawford signs a stack of publicity photos that date back to her appearance twenty years earlier; in reality, Crawford always sent out current fan photos.See more »
Quotes:
Christina:[Seeing Joan in her coffin] Oh Mommie. I always loved you so. It's over. The Pain. There's no more pain. You're free. Free. Oh Mommie...
[she starts to cry]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
June In JanuarySee more »

FAQ

How faithful is this movie to the book, and is it an accurate portrayal of real events?
See more »
81 out of 100 people found the following review useful.
Words Can't Do Justice, 1 September 2005
Author: evanston_dad from United States

It seems almost pointless for me to add any comments here, since everyone else who's posted has done such a great job of summarizing this film's merits, but I can't resist. How do you rate a movie like this? On the one hand, it's one of the worst movies I've ever seen: completely lacking in coherence, shameful acting, writing so bad it seems to be making fun of itself. In fact, I'm still not convinced this movie isn't supposed to be a parody of Christina Crawford's book rather than a serious attempt to adapt it to the screen. On the other hand, it's such a rip-roarin' good time of a show that I'm tempted to give it 10 stars on the strength of its sheer entertainment value alone.

Faye Dunaway gives the most jaw-droppingly mesmerizing freak out ever captured on screen, whose bizarreness cannot even be topped by Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech. Dunaway must have realized early on that she was a rat in a sinking ship, but instead of deserting, she decides instead to devour the crew. I don't know if her performance comes anywhere close to capturing the real Joan Crawford, but if Crawford was even a tenth of a percent as loony as Dunaway portrays her here, I would have been high-tailing it to Canada if I were either of her children. The fabulous lines, many of which are quoted on this site, can't really be done justice when removed from the context in which they appear, and you really have to see the faces of the actors as they're delivering them to get the full effect. The wire hanger scene is of course a classic, but it's really the floor scrubbing scene immediately following, with Dunaway in kabuki makeup squatting on the floor like a Sumo wrestler, that remains more memorable. Watching Joanie jog is a sight to behold, especially when she starts talking to herself and scrunching her face up as if she's imitating Alvin or one of his chipmunks. There's the "I can handle the socks" moment, one of the most seductive moments (hee, hee) in film history, and of course the coup de grace comes when Joanie tackles Christina across the coffee table and begins banging her head into the floor like she's in a women's prison movie.

The editing in this film is atrocious. There's no sense of time; events follow each other in a loosely chronological fashion, but they don't make dramatic or narrative sense. Frank Perry, the director, must have been dozing off through much of this production; either that or his film crew carried out a mutiny, tied him up, threw him in a shed, and went ahead without him. But it seems churlish to criticize a film like this for its poor film making. It's like kicking a dead horse.

All I can say is, if you watch this movie with the right people in the right frame of mind (i.e. with alcohol), you will be howling. I watched this with a group in college, and we had to periodically pause the movie in order to allow everyone to recover before continuing. Thank you, Ms. Dunaway, for giving us "Mommie Dearest." The world will never be able to repay you for your kindness.

Grade: F or A+ (depending on your perspective and level of sobriety)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (150 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mommie Dearest (1981)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
'Mommie Dearest' Hits home for me. tminnie
Any Similar Films of a 'Daddie' Dearest? sinestre91
Why Did everyone dislike the movie so much? Kylkoog
If Faye wanted to make alot of $$$ cubkisser66
I think Christina's story checks out. And there is proof. j-s-inbrewer
How could anyone find this movie funny? coupleofflakes2
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Inside Daisy Clover Terms of Endearment Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Imitation of Life Evelyn
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.