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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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4,917 ( 650)

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9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joan Crawford
... Christina Crawford (adult)
... Greg Savitt
... Louis B. Mayer
Mara Hobel ... Christina Crawford (child)
... Carol Ann
Harry Goz ... Alfred Steele
... Ted Gelber
... Barbara Bennett
... Mrs. Chadwick
Joe Abdullah ... Captain
Gary Allen ... Jimmy
Selma Archerd ... Connie
Adrian Aron ... Wedding Guest
... Christopher Crawford (adult)
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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:

One thing is certain: You'll never look at a wire hanger the same way again! 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$905,920, 20 September 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,032,261

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,032,261
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Christina Crawford, there were several scenes in which the script had to make alterations for real-life events. For example, for the famous rose bush cutting scene Christina said that those manic occasions happened periodically due to no real cause. The producers wanted to use the scenes but had to write in that it was brought on by Joan being fired by MGM Executive Louis B. Mayer. Also in reference to Joan helping the maid scrub the floor, Christina stated that Joan never cleaned floors that she could remember. Joan would make Christina or Christopher clean the floors while she supervised. See more »

Goofs

A camera shadow is visible against the blue curtains (left side of the screen) when Joan Crawford rides the merry go round. See more »

Quotes

[at a press conference on her wedding day]
Joan Crawford: You know, a few minutes ago a reporter asked me what I thought and how I would describe the marriage between the soft drink King and the Queen of Hollywood. I told him I thought it was a hell of a match.
Alfred Steele: That's my Pally.
Joan Crawford: Oh, "Pally". That's what he calls ya when he can't remember your name.
Alfred Steele: Don't let her kid you, I remember her name. It's Mrs. Alfred Steele. Right, Pally?
Joan Crawford: Right.
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Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: What's Up, Tiger Mommy? (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Romantic
Written by Richard Rodgers (as Rodgers) & Lorenz Hart (as Hart)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There is another Joan in town
22 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

Wow! Have you seen Feud? Where Jessica Lange plays Joan Crawford and gives her all the humanity in all its infuriating contradictions. It made me see What Ever Happened To Baby Jane - it was like watching it for the first time, after "Feud" - and now "Mommie Dearest" - Oh dear, Oh dear - It's not that Faye Dunaway is not very entertaining, she is, but her Joan is a one note, maybe one note and a half, a caricature trying to be taken seriously. Was that the intention or was it an accident? Faye Dunaway, in a lengthy interview/tribute with Ben Mankiewicz at the TCM Film Festival, didn't mention Mommie Dearest once, nor Mr. Mankiewicz asked her about it. Was it a demand from the star, not to touch the subject? - That sounds so Crawford. Mommie Dearest, the film is like an amateur movie made by professionals. On the other hand I recommend you to check Jessica Lange's Joan Crawford in "Feud"


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