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:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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4,045 ( 1,739)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mara Hobel ...
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Harry Goz ...
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Joe Abdullah ...
Captain
Gary Allen ...
Jimmy
Selma Archerd ...
Connie
Adrian Aron ...
Wedding Guest
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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:

The meanest mother of them all... 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$905,920 (USA) (20 September 1981)

Gross:

$19,032,261 (USA)
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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

Writer of the film's source book, Christina Crawford, once said of this movie after she had seen it: "My mother didn't deserve that. (Faye Dunaway)'s performance was ludicrous. I didn't see any care for factual information. Now I've seen it, I'm sorry I did. Faye says she is being haunted by mother's ghost. After her performance, I can understand why." See more »

Goofs

Before baby Christina arrives at Joan's mansion, Joan has a conversation with Gregg at the bar. His position, and the position of his whiskey glass, changes several times between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Christina has a bloody piece of steak on her lunch plate]
Joan Crawford: Christina, you haven't touched your lunch.
Christina Crawford: It's raw.
Joan Crawford: It's rare, not raw.
Christina Crawford: But it's got all this red juice when you push on it.
Joan Crawford: Then don't push on it. Darling, rare meat is good for you. The doctor said so. Christina, meat loses its vitamins if it's overcooked.
Christina Crawford: But I've had my vitamins this morning. Pills.
Joan Crawford: [to Carol-Ann] She negotiates everything like a goddamn Hollywood agent. Christina, eat your lunch. You are not getting up from this ...
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Connections

Referenced in How to Get Away with Murder: Freakin' Whack-a-Mole (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Tangerine
Written by Johnny Mercer & Victor Schertzinger
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Awarrrarragh!!
25 September 2004 | by (Vancouver) – See all my reviews

Indisputable classic of the highest order, 'Mommie Dearest' just SCREAMS cult hit every chance it gets, and just about ruined Faye Dunaway's reputation in the process. Mind you, there's nothing WRONG with Dunaway's performance, as a matter of fact, it's really good, but what's so good about it is how she plays every scene with fearless abandon, whether it's the wirehanger scene, the departure from MGM or chokeslamming Christina through a glass table, Dunaway gives 100% percent! And you should too! The first half is MUCH more frenetic then the 2nd half (aka young Christina vs Old) and the first part has all the best bits, but not to say the 2nd part is good too, it really starts to mellow out and (gasp) you start to feel SOME compassion to the old broad. Diana Scarwid is good too, although her playing what looks to be a 13 year old girl looks a bit too much.

This wasn't my first time at this rodeo (I'd seen this before) and I enjoyed it as much as I had the first time!


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