Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mommie Dearest (1981)

Faye Dunaway stars as the one-and-only Joan Crawford in this biting biographical drama based on the shocking tell-all book by daughter Christina Crawford. The film documents the crazed and often barbaric behavior that the fading star exhibited on her two adopted children until her death in 1977. MOMMIE DEAREST is primarily told from Christina's perspective, which paints her mother in a very negative light. Based on other stories that have surfaced in the years following her death, Christina's depiction may not have been far from the truth. Apart from the constant psychological abuse that Crawford imposed on the children, the film's most notorious scene depicts a particularly nasty moment where Joan has a nervous breakdown and viciously beats her daughter with a wire clothes hanger for not hanging her dresses properly. Although it nearly ruined her career, Faye Dunaway is deliciously over-the-top as the conceited and egotistical Queen of Hollywood, with Diana Scarwid putting in a strong performance as well as Christina Crawford. MOMMIE DEAREST is as horrifying as it is oddly entertaining.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked MOMMY DEAREST, check out:
FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, GODS AND MONSTERS, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

5 comments:

  1. It is an odd movie. One of those hard-to-look-away feelings. And you have to take it with a grain of salt, cause well, yeah - this is the daughter's take so we don't really, truly know how skewed it is.

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  2. Agreed, its clearly slanted, but I would have a harder time not believing it than believing it lol..

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  3. Slanted? Probably, but I've known people at that level of crazy.

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  4. Yet another great movie that gets better with age. Paramount tried to repackage the movie as a comedy back then since everybody was laughing so much during the screenings. Great stuff. I wonder if people laughed as hard at the real Joan in the painfully awful TROG (1970)?

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  5. I cant tell you why, but for some reason for years I believed that this was a John Waters black comedy from the 60s. Weird. It really was a twisted little film, I felt wrong laughing, but who can resist?

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