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Mommie Dearest (1981)

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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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2,289 ( 1,207)
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:

Meet the biggest 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Faye Dunaway mentions in her autobiography that she screamed herself hoarse during the filming for the notorious wire hanger tantrum scene in this movie. She called Frank Sinatra for help, and he gave her some pointers on how to get her voice back into shape. See more »

Goofs

Joan is reclining on a chaise lounge near the pool and Gregg sits down next to her. As the camera cuts between Joan's face and Gregg's face, Joan clearly changes position. Sometimes she's facing forward, sometimes she's gazing up into Gregg's face. See more »

Quotes

Carol Ann: [embracing Christina at Joan's funeral] Chris-*tina*! *Tina*!
Christina: Carol-Ann.
Carol Ann: My little Tina. She always loved you so very much, Christina.
Christina: I need to believe that. I need so much to be able to believe that now.
Carol Ann: She did.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some scenes were altered for the TV and cable release of "Mommie Dearest". Aside from editing out the bad language, there is a notably different version of the scene where Joan hacks down her prize roses, where for some reason the musical background to this scene was completely removed, and the abrupt cut from L.B. Mayer's face to Joan kneeling dementedly in the rose garden with her garden shears is accompanied by a bone-chilling scream. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wigstock: The Movie (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Away in a Manger
(uncredited)
Traditional lyrics, tune attributed variously to William J. Kirkpatrick or James Murray
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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