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.

49%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 43

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,018

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Movie Info

In this biographical film, glamorous yet lonely star Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) takes in two orphans, and at first their unconventional family seems happy. But after Joan's attempts at romantic fulfillment go sour and she is fired from her contract with MGM studios, her callous and abusive behavior towards her daughter Christina (Diana Scarwid) becomes even more pronounced. Christina leaves home and takes her first acting role, only to find her mother's presence still overshadowing her.

Cast & Crew

Faye Dunaway
Joan Crawford
Diana Scarwid
Christina Crawford (adult)
Howard Da Silva
Louis B. Mayer
Mara Hobel
Christina Crawford (child)
Harry Goz
Alfred Steele
Michael Edwards
Ted Gelber
Jocelyn Brando
Barbara Bennett
David Koontz
Executive Producer
Terence O'Neill
Executive Producer
Henry Mancini
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Mommie Dearest

Critic Reviews for Mommie Dearest

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (22)

  • 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.

    December 11, 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.

    April 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.

    October 4, 2017 | Full Review…
  • By all accounts, Miss Crawford had serious failings as a mother, but the film pounds so unrelentingly on her raging cruelty to her children -- and her equally offensive public sweetness -- that she emerges as a laughable caricature.

    July 6, 2010 | Full Review…
  • It's rich, stimulating thought in spite of itself.

    October 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.

    October 30, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mommie Dearest

  • Sep 29, 2011
    A disjointed and episodic adaptation that will appeal more to those who are curious to know about Joan Crawford's abusive relationship with her daughter, since it makes no effort in character development and is only worth it for Faye Dunaway in a histrionic, over-the-top performance.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2010
    To be honest, I really hate this over the top campfest.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2010
    Not bad, but not great. If the stories of Joan Crawford as portrayed here are accurate, she was a real heartless woman. Dunaway is great, but she disowned the film after it bombed.
    Wu C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A fantastic drama with great actors, and a great story, I loved it, and I highly recommend it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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