|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Mommie Dearest (DVD)
Mommie Dearest has never looked so good! Joan Crawford lives on in the H ollywood Royalty Edition of the cult movie classic, complete with all-n ew special features as dazzling and fascinating as the movie star hersel f. Who better to add his own sense of style to th e commentary of the mo vie than camp filmmaker extraodinaire, John Waters. Together, with famed Joan Crawford impersonator Lipsynka, the two share their expertise and take a look behind the scenes at the making of what has become this outr ageous and campy film. Aft er watching this movie, one thing is certain: you'll never look at a wire hanger the same way again!]]>
Top customer reviews
Faye Dunaway seems to channel Joan's spirit in a riveting performance. I remember reading that some very strange occurences were happening on the set while this was being filmed; wouldn't be a bit surprised if Joan came back to haunt the place. Who could blame her?
No matter what you think of Hollywood brats or Joan Crawford, this movie is worth watching for the incredible performances and bizarre story. Many lessons to be learned here.
He praises the director and made me appreciate the photography, clothes, scenery and I saw how this movie fits into the "woman's picture" genre.
Let me volunteer that Joan's "parenting" as depicted here rings absolutely true to this viewer. I was born in 1957 and our dad was fully and unwittingly invested in the "Mommie Dearest" method. So many of the berserk rages depicted in the movie were played out in our home and echoed throughout our neighborhood and indeed, the nation at large, I'm afraid. Maybe we didn't get smacked with wire hangers or flogged & dusted with cans of Comet cleanser, but I promise you, we got it as badly if not worse. We forget today how common abusive households were; no one was ever happy to see a violent domestic "scene" in the neighborhood, but no one would intervene to make it stop either.
Like our dad, I believe Joan DID want children, and not just to aggrandize themselves. Unfortunately when it comes to children, theory and vague impulses quickly get buzzsawed by the realities of coping with the dependent and imperfectly developing new human being that is a child. As "Mommie Dearest" painfully reminds us--just WANTING a baby and family is no assurance that you're up to the task. Oh sure, no one's perfect, and children will challenge you and test you in every way imaginable, but no provocation justifies the insane domestic brutality depicted here--again, TOTALLY credible to me.
As John Waters correctly observes in his commentary track, for better or worse, Faye will most likely be remembered with "MD" as her "signature" role; NOTHING else she ever did in her long career created such a seismic ripple in popular culture! However, Faye should be PROUD of her work here! We feel Joan's insecurity as she struggles to stay viable as a past-her-prime Hollywood Diva; we see the grit and fire that kept her in the game for so long, as well as how that same vicious intensity and overwhelming vanity made her a bad, BAD parent. We see how she boils over and lashes out--INSANELY--"Mommie Dearest" is flat off her rocker! but we also see that she DID have affection for Christina--even though she was just too high-strung and selfish to ever be a fit parent. SO MANY difficult and piercing psychological elements are skillfully juggled in Faye's performance! The queasiness of the story just made it a hard, HARD sell to recognize on its own abundant merits. Acclaim for Faye in "Mommie Dearest" would have been like giving Ralph Fiennes the best actor Oscar for his role as the Nazi camp commandant in "Schindler's List"! NOT going to happen!
Despite the deserved shellacking Joan's reputation takes here (and she DEFINITELY earned the takedown), I still admire her. She was a UNIQUE and one-of-a-kind presence in American cinema and culture. Many of her movies--and her steely charisma--remain powerful, potent, indeed, ICONIC representations of their times. Joan, I think, mirrored many women's frustrations and sufferings but Joan (unlike most "surrendered bride" housewives of the day) had the fire and ammo to shoot back, and still look glamorous while delivering the smackdown. Oh boy, though--Joan's peculiar "look" is wildly unsettling! Those blazing welding-torch eyes and that sharp hatchet face; here's one lady you don't want to "fork" with, right? Faye Dunaway, to me anyway, is SEVERAL degrees of magnitude more beautiful than Joan was, however Faye certainly channels Joan's scalding intensity (and "look") VERY successfully. Hard to imagine anyone else in the part--though (as the EXCELLENT featurettes on this DVD reveal) ANN BANCROFT was the actress originally envisioned for the part. Ann would have been good--she bore a stronger physical resemblance to Joan--but that's just another intriguing historical "what if" footnote, like Jimmy Stewart in "North by Northwest" or Ronald Reagan in "Casablanca".
What we do have instead, is Faye in "Mommie Dearest"--and what a towering, wrecking ball of a pop-culture artifact it is indeed! I STRONGLY recommend this movie, but let me say that the experience is greatly enhanced if you've imbibed a little bit of Joan as well. Mildred Pierce (Keepcase)--Joan's Oscar winning part as a "helicopter parent" circa 1947 has special resonance here, AND the RIVETING documentary on Joan's life and career on the flip side of the disc provides HUGE insight and back-story. I would also unconditionally recommend Humoresque which, like "Mildred" is a jet-black noirish melodrama, likewise generously laced with Joan's unique mint-and cyanide presence.
However--you don't HAVE to know Joan Crawford or her work to appreciate "Mommie Dearest". It's a tough, unflinching look at a genuine "tough cookie" in Joan, as depicted ASTONISHINGLY here by Faye Dunaway. This is DEFINITELY not a movie for everyone. But for those of us who understand its historical context and appreciate fearless, high-wire acting as Faye delivers, we have a ferocious portrait of a woman crushed in an avalanche of Dionysian fate. Today we have a whole vocabulary of clinical euphemisms for her furies; "bipolar", "OCD", etc. But Joan's unique story--and Faye's daring performance--remind us and oblige us to confront how these afflictions wound and poison our own lives and times. If you think you're up for it--"Mommie Dearest" is not to be missed!
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Documentary
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Kids & Family
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Warner Home Video > All Titles
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Warner Home Video > Documentary
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Warner Home Video > Drama