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Mommie Dearest (1981)

Faye Dunaway , Diana Scarwid , Frank Perry  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (451 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva, Mara Hobel
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Writers: Frank Perry, Frank Yablans, Christina Crawford, Robert Getchell, Tracy Hotchner
  • Producers: David Koontz, Frank Yablans
  • 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 (451 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005J6RD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mommie Dearest" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 116 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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70 of 73 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Having pleasure watching the many Hollywood stars 50% Insane & 50%...
I cannot give it 5 stars because then I would be a naughty girl! Having pleasure watching the many Hollywood stars 50% Insane & 50% Awesome! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Desiree
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Classic Movie, theater quality !
Published 7 days ago by Kenneth
5.0 out of 5 stars Faye Dunaway is awesome!
Faye deserved an oscar for this shocking portayal of Joan Crawford. It is over the top of course but just fun to watch her insanity at home all the while playing a darling to the... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Jimmy L. Wilbanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great movie. Faye Dunaway resembles Joan Crawford so much I forget she wasn't longer alive. Unforgettable!
Published 16 days ago by Princess G
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see masterpiece: BRAVA FAYE DUNAWAY
How Faye Dunaway did not win an Oscar for this masterpiece is a mystery. This is THE performance of her life. She is. Joan Crawford! The extras are an unexpected treasure. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film!
I love this movie. Faye Dunaway delivers a fantastic performance as Joan Crawford, a troubled actress in the 1940s. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good deal
The DVD works that's all I care about.
Published 21 days ago by Jason Wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome! :)
Published 22 days ago by Jennie
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie
gotta love it
Published 26 days ago by Joyce L. Gans
4.0 out of 5 stars Dunaway's performance is fantastic
Rather a bummer of a film to watch, but Dunaway's performance is fantastic. Valuable insights into the damage that can be done by wacko narcissistic parents, and a reminder that... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Peter F.
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