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Mommie Dearest (1981)

Faye Dunaway , Diana Scarwid , Frank Perry  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (415 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva, Mara Hobel
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2001
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (415 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005J6RD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mommie Dearest" on IMDb

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  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunaway Is As Good As Brando Ever Was July 7, 2008
Format:DVD
I don't know if this review will reach anyone. Hopefully someone. This dvd is a must for anyone who has seen this film and loved it or anyone who wants to see it. Also an excellent way to learn more about Joan Crawfod and more importantly, Faye Dunaway.

Dunaway disowns this part and I think I get why. The part took its toll on her emotionally and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest screen performances ever on film. And what did this gifted actress get in return? Bad reviews, jokes and a "cult" film on her behalf. Come on, I wouldn't really want to talk about it either.

Dunaway did take the time to express some feelings in her book Looking For Gatsby. So I would appreciate it if all you reviewers on amazon who trashed this film or (God help us) Dunaway herself, to read about the time and effort she put into this performance and how she did it. I'm sorry but i'm tired of people laughing at this movie and not taking it seriously. You can't throw descriptions like "over the top" at this woman because you lack perspective and appreciation of talent.

No one ever tore apart: Al Pacino in Scarface, Marlon Brando in the Godfather/Last Tango in Paris or Anthony Hopkins in Scilence of the Lambs (Hopkins,by the way,felt that her portrayal of Crawford is one of the best performances of all time). But when a woman dares to even come close to Marlon Brando's talent, people make fun of her. Also, Dunaway has made some other incredible films, i can't list them, it would take too long. Check out 3 Days of the Condor. She had to play second fiddle to Robert Redford and stole the show with a touching, sad and heartfelt character. Simply put,stop with the disrespectful reviews.

Now, this dvd did an incredible job with the extras.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mommie Dearest - an underrated film June 17, 2001
By Tom
Format:VHS Tape
I've always believed that this film has been misunderstood. Admittedly I can understand why people would laugh at scenes like the one where Faye Dunaway shouts to her daughter, "Tina bring me the ax!" But is child abuse really funny? I don't think so. I must admit that the scenes of child abuse, perhaps exploitative, are chilling and realistic. Thanks to the vivid performances by Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid and the actress who played young Christina, you really feel like you are in that house with these characters. You just want Joan to stop.
Faye Dunaway's career has never been the same since this film since it is now regarded as a camp classic, yet I think this is one of her best performances. She makes Joan a complicated woman: cruel, irrational, beautiful, pathetic, perhaps mentally ill and yet also sympathetic.
I don't know how accurate the film is and unfortunately Joan Crawford was never able to defend herself, but the film is based on the book, and it is true to the spirit of Christina Crawford's memoir: it is relentless, frightening, sad and unforgettable.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Say it like you mean it!" February 9, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Faye Dunaway portrays Joan Crawford realistically and vividly in this emotionally-charged "true" story. She is excellent because she captures the desperation and vulnerability of the Movie Queen as well as her neuroses and ruthlessness. At stages, her mannerisms, voice and look are uncannily like Crawfords. I remember a review of a Joan Collins film called "The Bitch" in which a reviewer said "Only for campaholics who delight in the misfortunes of aging actresses." Doubtlessly, this film will attract this element, but lets hope viewers also see Crawfords pain as well as her toughness. She fought her way from scrubber to star. Is it any wonder that in her lower ebbs, she scrubbed floors to metaphorically keep everything perfect? One can empathise with Christina's bewilderment at her mothers outbursts, but we also see Crawfords difficulties. Some scenes are campy and superficial, but interest never wanes. Some scenes (especially near the end) are heartbreaking and equal Joan Crawfords oscar winning performance in "Mildred Pierce" in terms of emotional pathos.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diva on a rampage February 18, 2003
Format:DVD
This movie is my #1 guilty-pleasure when it comes to movies. Yes, it is camp and over the top, but like they say, they don't make 'em like this anymore.
Of course, this movie would be NOTHING without the peerless Faye Dunaway. A virtual facial contortionist, she plays up every scene and mood change. She also is able to act the part of the Hollywood diva very well. And this movie is full of diva behavior. Take, for example, the scene in which she chops up the rose garden, dressed in haute couture, the side of her face bruised and cut. She mutters "box office poison" and all of the other awful things that Mayer told her, and makes her unfortunate small children haul away the wreckage. Then, she wields an axe like nobody's business. This is a priceless diva moment.
Mommie Dearest is full of similar moments. Take, for example, the scene that occurs shortly after she made Christina endure the swimming lesson from hell. Faye (Joan) coolly informs Christina that she will always be bigger and faster than her. Her face is perfectly made up, her hair wrapped in a white towel, a la Marilyn Monroe. She gives her young daughter a wonderful "top this, b...ch" look. She repeats this look, even more effectively, when Christina comes into her room to whine about her missing dolls in a later scene.
The rivalry between mother and daughter is very riveting. From the dramatic point of view, the actress that plays the child Christina is way better than the older Christina. Mara (young Christina) chews the scenery just as much as Faye. Take, for example, when she slowly closes the door after her mother accepts the award for the Oscar on her front porch. She stares at the paparazzi longingly, wanting to enjoy what her mother enjoys.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
Seen this movie before but it's worth seeing again. Joan Crawford really had some deep problems in her life. Her children paid the price. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Joanna G. Ellinger
2.0 out of 5 stars Sucked.
This movie sucked! All lies about Joan abusing her kids. I know she didn't do that!! Christina just wanted to use her for movie.
Published 26 days ago by Jazzy
5.0 out of 5 stars gotta love this one
This movie gives me the chills. It is a great movie to watch. I used to be so scared of the mother when i was younger. A must watch movie if you like older movies like this.
Published 1 month ago by Alyssa M. Flores
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
One of the best movies ever. Faye Dunaway is perfect in this role. Watch if you love old movies or want to learn more about the life of old movie stars!
Published 1 month ago by Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!! No more wire hangers EVER!!
This movie is SO over the top AWESOME! I bought it so that my special lady could finally see it after hearing me laughing about it and seeing the entry on it in I Love the 80s. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Classic!
I loved this movie the first 20 times I watched it and loved it even this time. It's timeless and good for nearly all ages. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pauline Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie even more in HD!
This is a classic & the HD was amazing!! Even with it being an older film the wardrobe was projected beautifully. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pebbles
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but poor quality for an HD title
The movie was great, but the picture was not sharp. My television said it was receiving a 720p signal but it looked more like a standard definition picture. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John L Beaver
5.0 out of 5 stars childhood memories
I grew up on this movie.my aunt made me watch this along with the original 1987 flowers in that attic. So I bought both movies and I couldn't be happier. .. Read more
Published 1 month ago by shameka
5.0 out of 5 stars You think you mom is Bab
I had been looking for this movies for years. I finally found it. It was as I remembered. I still like watching this movie.

I would refer this movie to a friend.
Published 1 month ago by Chicquita M. Crawford
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Rose Garden scene music cut out!!
The music wasn't cut out intentionally. When mastering it for DVD, they discovered that the music portion of the audio for that scene was damaged beyond repair, but the dialogue track was fine. So they had no choice but to release it without the underscoring. True, it maybe would've been nice... Read more
Aug 8, 2011 by Mahogany Echo |  See all 3 posts
Blu ray?
I agree! I am also a big fan I have the DVD...but it sure could use remastering! I can't believe some of the crap that has been remastered to blu-ray...so why not this one ....Great Movie!
Jul 15, 2012 by Eric K. Gregory |  See all 3 posts
Joan! Be the first to reply
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