Mommie Dearest Review
By Christopher Null
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.
While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.
Anyway, Dunaway's performance here is not to be missed. Though the film rambles for too long, especially after young Christina has grown up and the story comes to an end, Mommie Dearest is unforgettable, immimently quotable, and a cultish classic.
The new "Hollywood Royalty Edition" features commentary from, get this, John Waters, plus three featurettes about Crawford and her legacy.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 18th September 1981
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 14
Cast & Crew
Starring: Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, Diana Scarwid as Christina Crawford, Steve Forrest as Greg Savitt, Howard Da Silva as Louis B. Mayer, Mara Hobel as Christina Crawford (child), Harry Goz as Alfred Steele, Michael Edwards as Ted Gelber, Jocelyn Brando as Barbara Bennett, Priscilla Pointer as Mrs. Chadwick, Joe Abdullah as Captain, Gary Allen as Jimmy, Selma Archerd as Connie, Adrian Aron as Wedding Guest, Xander Berkeley as Christopher Crawford (adult)