6.7/10
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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:

Frank Perry

Writers:

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

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

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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)
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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:

The greatest role of her life...was her life. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maman très chère See more »

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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:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Christina Crawford opened up about the film's famous title, saying that, "'Mommie dearest' was a term of enslavement. If we just called her 'Mother' or 'Mommy,' she corrected us over and over and over again." See more »

Goofs

When Joan is in the driveway getting ready to jog next to the car CarolAnn is driving, the backs of her knees on her sweatpants are wet and in the next scene they are dry. See more »

Quotes

Joan Crawford: Why do you deliberately defy me?
Christina: Why did you tell her I got expelled?
Joan Crawford: Because you DID get expelled.
Christina: That... is a LIE.
Joan Crawford: [Smacking Christina hard across the face twice] You love it, don't you? YOU LOVE TO MAKE ME HIT YOU.
Barbara Bennett: Joan.
Joan Crawford: Barbara, PLEASE. PLEASE, Barbara. Leave us alone, Barbara. If you need anything, ask Carol Ann.
[laughs bitterly]
Joan Crawford: This is wonderful. THIS IS WONDERFUL. YOU. You deliberately embarrassed me in front of a REPORTER.
[clutches herself]
[...]
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 Criminal Minds: The Edge of Winter (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuet in F (from Water Music)
(uncredited)
Written by George Frideric Handel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There is another Joan in town
22 April 2017 | by ggallegosgroupukSee 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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