Mommie Dearest

1981

Mommie Dearest

Critics Consensus

Mommie Dearest certainly doesn't lack for conviction, and neither does Faye Dunaway's legendary performance as a wire-wielding monster; unfortunately, the movie is too campy and undisciplined to transcend guilty pleasure.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 40
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Movie Info

When her adoptive mother Joan Crawford died in 1977, erstwhile actress/author Christina Crawford was left out of Crawford's will. Christina then penned a scathing autobiography. According to this film (and the book that preceded it), Joan Crawford was a licentious, child-beating behemoth, who stalked and postured through life.

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Cast

Faye Dunaway
as Joan Crawford
Diana Scarwid
as Christina Crawford (adult)
Mara Hobel
as Christina Crawford (child)
Steve Forrest
as Greg Savitt
Howard Da Silva
as Louis B. Mayer
Rutanya Alda
as Carol Ann
Harry Goz
as Al Steele
Harry Goaz
as Al Steele
Michael Edwards
as Ted Gelber
Jocelyn Brando
as Barbara Bennett
Priscilla Pointer
as Mrs. Chadwick
Gary Allen
as Jimmy the Photographer
Adrian Aron
as Woman Guest
Xander Berkeley
as Christopher Crawford as an Adult
Matthew Campion
as Bruce, Actor in Soap
Carolyn Coates
as Mother Superior
Jerry Douglas
as Interviewer
Margaret Fairchild
as Mother Superior at Orphanage
James Kirkwood Jr.
as Master of Ceremonies
Phillip Richard Allen
as Pepsi Executive #1
Virginia Kiser
as Beth Simpson
Michael D. Gainsborough
as Pepsi Executive #2
Peter Jason
as Pepsi Executive #4
Matthew Faison
as Executive
Victoria James
as Photographer
S. John Launer
as Chairman of Board
Russ Marin
as Funeral Director
Nicholas Mele
as Assistant Director
Belita Moreno
as Belinda Rosenberg
Norman Palmer
as Male Guest
Jeremy Scott Reinbolt
as Christopher Crawford at Age 5
Dick McGarvin
as Tour Bus Driver
Ian Bruce
as Assistant Director
Arthur Taxier
as Decorator
Joseph Warren
as Mr. Dodd
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News & Interviews for Mommie Dearest

Critic Reviews for Mommie Dearest

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (9)

  • Lacking psychological intelligence or, for that matter, awareness of Hollywood sociology, Mommie Dearest is just a collection of screechy scenes further distanced by convictionless direction.

    Dec 10, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The flaws aren't the story with this unusual film. The story is in the powerful, vivid and emotionally draining scenes of torment and conflict between a mother and daughter.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "Mommie Dearest," the film version of Christina Crawford's poison-pen memoir of her adoptive mother, Joan Crawford, looms as wretched excess.

    Oct 3, 2017 | Full Review…
  • It's rich, stimulating thought in spite of itself.

    Oct 30, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Director Frank Perry, who collaborated with three others (including producer Frank Yablans) on the script, gives it all a certain crazed conviction.

    Oct 30, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Dunaway does not chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at each corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, costars and all.

    Oct 30, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic

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