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The Perfect Mother (1997)

A woman marries into a family of self-made immigrants, but discovers that her new mother-in-law is bizarre and still babies her grown adult son, while also covering up the family's financial crimes and domestic abuse.


Peter Levin


Karen Clark




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyne Daly ... Elanie Podaras
Ione Skye ... Kathryn M. Podaras
Louis Ferreira ... John Podaras (as Justin Louis)
Tuesday Knight ... Charlene Podaras
David Cubitt ... Dan Podaras
Gwynyth Walsh ... Joy Pigeon
Dee Wallace ... Gina Mitrou (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Carlos Joe Costa Carlos Joe Costa ... Detective Hernandez
Johnny Cuthbert ... Frank Podaras (as Jon Cuthbert)
Jennifer Clement ... Sarah
Karen Elizabeth Austin ... Irene
Betty Linde ... Theodora
Nathaniel DeVeaux Nathaniel DeVeaux ... Sergeant Stern
Gerry Bean ... Jesse J. (as John Oliver)
Kate Robbins Kate Robbins ... Marion
Learn more

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Since self-made immigrant Nico Podaras's death, widow Elenie runs his lucrative garage, with an illegal side business, generously using the profits to keep control of their three sons' lives. Simpleton Dan is happy to sire the crucial heir without hesitation to keep unruly, immature wife Charlene in line, but goes too far, so she absconds pregnant. Firstborn John gave up his dream, fishery, to work in the garage. When he marries Kathryn, she starts questioning and resisting Elenie's matriarchal manipulation, but bears her a grandson. The conflict escalates, leaving John torn between loyalties. Written by KGF Vissers

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User Reviews

It was a wonderful movie, but be aware that the mother-in-law is psycho and should have been put away for the remainder of her life.
7 March 2002 | by April7898See all my reviews

I thought that "The Perfect Mother" was an incredible movie with a wonderful cast portaying the real life people. The mother-in-law was psycho and she should have been put away for the remainder of her life. I felt sorry for John and for Katherine. For John, because he was naive and ignorant when it came to the topic of his mother until it was too late. For Katherine, because she knew how Elainie Podaras was, but there was nothing she could do about the situation because noone believed her and because she loved her husband so much. The ending of the movie was such a travesty for Katherine, Katherine's mother, John, and Matthew. It is hard to believe that someone could be as awful and conniving person as Elainie Podaras was. If you enjoyed this movie, you should watch "Hush" or "Psycho" because the mothers in both of these movies, along with this particular one , have some mental and security issues.

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

18 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kathryn See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Gastown)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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