Mommie Dearest
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When her adoptive mother Joan Crawford died in 1977, erstwhile actress/author Christina Crawford and her brother Christopher were left out of Joan Crawford's will, "for reasons which are well known to them." Industryites have suggested that it may have been this posthumous act of rejection rather than an alleged lifetime of parental abuse that inspired Christina Crawford to pen her scathing autobiography Mommie Dearest. The 1981 film version of this tome was evidently meant to be taken seriously, but the operatic direction by Frank Perry and the over-the-top portrayal of Joan… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's rich, stimulating thought in spite of itself."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Really no dafter, perhaps, than some of Joanie's own Warner Bros melodramas; the trouble is, it thinks it's Art."
‑ , Time Out
"Trashy soap opera drama on the private life of screen queen Joan Crawford."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Dunaway creates the benchmark for harridans the world over but never entirely loses sympathy for her subject. It's a constant blast of high melodrama and camp."
‑ , Film4
"A peculiar hybrid: a high-camp Hollywood bio flick about child abuse, elevated substantially above its sordid material by Faye Dunaway's obsessively committed interpretation of legndary star Joan Crawford."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Director Frank Perry, who collaborated with three others (including producer Frank Yablans) on the script, gives it all a certain crazed conviction."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"I can't imagine who would want to subject themselves to this movie."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Director Frank Perry simply sits back and lets Dunaway rip. He was either supremely untalented or he purposefully intended to sabotage her."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"'No wire hangers -- ever!' That this apparently banal phrase has now achieved something like immortality is a reflection of the unbridled extravagance of Faye Dunaway's performance."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Perry and Yablans fuse this formal schizophrenia with the cruelly episodic structure and fetishized period details of Hollywood biopics."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Dunaway does not chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at each corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, costars and all."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"There is nothing to string the episodes together into a coherent drama, and no insight into Miss Crawford herself."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Wire Hangers!"
‑ Stefan Birgir Stefansson,
"...relies almost entirely on Dunaway's histrionics to propel the story forward - resulting in a movie that's good for a few unintentional laughs but little else."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Deliciously entertaining trash."
‑ Chuck O'Leary,
More reviews for Mommie Dearest on Rotten Tomatoes