The movie that made "No wire hangers!" a household phrase, Mommie Dearest is the very model of a modern "camp classic," so crazily outlandish that it's fascinating. Based on the scathing and scandalous tell-all bestseller by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of histrionic Hollywood movie queen Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest was billed in advance as a serious dramatic motion-picture biography. But it turned out to be something much, much weirder--a genuine Hollywood oddity that serves up a bizarre mixture of melodramatic trash and outrageous tragi-comedy. Joan Crawford won an Oscar for playing the role of the self-sacrificing mother, the woman who would do anything for her daughter, in Mildred Pierce. As depicted by Faye Dunaway (playing the hell out of the role as if she's determined to win another Oscar of her own, damn it!), her role as offscreen parent puts her in a league with big-time scary screen mommies such as Mrs. Bates in Psycho, and Angela Lansbury's über-mom in The Manchurian Candidate. Dunaway's Crawford torments and terrorizes her adopted children in myriad ways--making them give away their own birthday gifts and rousting them from their beds for frantic after-midnight bathroom-scrubbing attacks. And when, after the death of her Pepsico chairman husband, Crawford tells the board of directors, "Don't f--- with me, fellas!" one is very much inclined to heed her warning. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
In this special-edition of Mommie Dearest, John Waters does this cult-classic justice by providing a memorable audio commentary mixing industry insight with hilarity. "I don't think this is a campy movie. I dont think it's so bad it's good. I think it's so good it's perfect," he states. The film, poorly received (dare we say mis-received?) by the critics upon its 1981 release, and considered by many to be the end of Faye Dunaway's career, lives on for a reason; along with Christina Crawfords reveal-all celebrity memoir it created an all new genre. Who can say they weren't riveted by this glamor-horror movie? The three featurettes feature insightful interviews with Frank Yablan, the producer who wisely purchased the film rights and cast Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, who portrayed the grown up Christina, and Rutanya Alda, who played the devoted maid. These people and more provide insight into their personal connection to their roles and Faye Dunaway's undeniably centrifugal performance. Unfortunately, director Frank Perry, who died in 1995, and Faye Dunaway (who probably rues the day she agreed to do this film) do not contribute to the bonus features. As John Waters states in his audio commentary during the notorious wire-hanger scene: "If you dont like this scene you should never watch movies." Indeed. --Wendy Harris --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
Is there anything more tragic than an artist pouring their heart and soul into a project that is then either misunderstood? Or goes horribly wrong? Read morePublished 6 months ago by Drew Rowsome
Very excellent movie.... her life story is really amazing and she definitely had her issues.... in todays world she might have been able to get some help for that (therapy).Published 13 months ago by C. Clarke
recommended for Crawford fans and people interested in Hoillywood history. Crawford may not have been the villain portrayed by her daughter. No one worked harder. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2013 by Wayne Cranston
I absolutely adored this movie! It gives you a real insight of the life and death of Joan Crawford with the memories of her young children. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2013 by Lucylover
I really loved this movie, based on the life of Joan Crawford. A woman who very much exhibits someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's a great movie.Published on Jan. 2 2013 by Risé