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Mommie Dearest (1981)

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3:34 | Clip
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 »
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 ... 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 meanest mother of them all... 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:

Mommie Dearest See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,032,261

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,032,261
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

According to Rutanya Alda, Irene Sharaff walked off the set in tears, because she was so "horrified by some of Faye's outfit decisions." When Sharaff left, an assistant mocked Faye Dunaway's constant screaming of, "Clear the set!" See more »

Goofs

After Joan beats Christina with the wire hanger, you can still hear the girl sniffle and whine, but her mouth is closed, and she hasn't shed a single tear. See more »

Quotes

Joan Crawford: [on her mother] ... When I was a kid, Mom changed husbands faster than she changed bed-sheets.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 10 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All-American Girl: Mommie Nearest (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sitting On Top Of The World
by Sam Lewis, Joe Young (as Young) & Ray Henderson (as Henderson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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