6.7/10
12,624
172 user 67 critic

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:

Frank Perry

Writers:

Christina Crawford (book), Frank Yablans (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Faye Dunaway ... Joan Crawford
Diana Scarwid ... Christina Crawford (Adult)
Steve Forrest ... Greg Savitt
Howard Da Silva ... L.B. Mayer
Mara Hobel Mara Hobel ... Christina Crawford (Child)
Rutanya Alda ... Carol Ann
Harry Goz Harry Goz ... Al Steele
Michael Edwards ... Ted Gelber
Jocelyn Brando ... Barbara Bennett
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Chadwick
Joe Abdullah Joe Abdullah ... Captain
Gary Allen Gary Allen ... Jimmy (Photographer)
Selma Archerd Selma Archerd ... Connie
Adrian Aron Adrian Aron ... Wedding Guest
Xander Berkeley ... Christopher Crawford (Adult)
Edit

Storyline

The relationship between Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother Joan Crawford is presented from Christina's view. Unable to bear 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:

Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maman très chère See more »

Edit

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:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Da Silva, who plays MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer, is the only actor in the film who actually worked for MGM at the same time as Joan Crawford during it's 1930s/40s heyday, and in fact, he had a small role alongside Crawford in Reunion in France (1942). See more »

Goofs

The "wire hanger" scene has become the pivotal, and almost iconic, symbol of the movie, yet one must wonder where little Christina would have gotten the hanger to begin with. She was obviously too young to be picking up cleaning, so the hanger must have been brought into the house by a servant- so Joan's anger at finding the dress on the hanger was completely misdirected. One would think that Crawford would have issued a directive to her house staff to immediately remove any clothing from such hangers and to dispose of them. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Dodd: My daughter Ellen would love to have your signature, Miss Crawford.
Joan Crawford: Of course!
[signs menu]
Louis B. Mayer: You see? She didn't ask for L.B. Mayer's signature!
Joan Crawford: That's because she's not as smart as her father. She doesn't know that you are King!
Louis B. Mayer: [Joan gets up to leave] Where are you going? Come join us, we're having dinner! You're one of the reasons bankers love Metro.
Joan Crawford: No, thank you, L.B., but our table is ready.
Louis B. Mayer: I insist.
[Joan sits]
Louis B. Mayer: You're aces, Joanie!
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Due to the damage on the film's master, all current video/television prints are missing the dramatic music as Joan destroys her rose garden. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mario Cantone: Laugh Whore (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Romantic
Written by Richard Rodgers (as Rodgers) & Lorenz Hart (as Hart)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Tombstone
28 September 2009 | by giorgiosurbaniSee 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.


51 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 172 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed