Director: Frank Perry
Writers: Christina Crawford (Book), Robert Getchell
Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva, Mara Hobel
Arguably one of the worst movies of all time, Mommie Dearest was as terrible as it was unconvincing. On one side, you've got Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford, the alleged abusive and neurotic monster of a woman, and then Diana Scarwid playing what I consider one of the most annoying screen roles in cinematic history, Christina Crawford. For the life of me I cannot figure out what was going through Faye Dunaway's head when she acted out some of the most ridiculously memorable scenes throughout the movie. I will grant her this, she does look similar to an older Joan Crawford and I thought she played Crawford great. The problem lied with the unintentional ridiculous dialogue and rotten directing. What can an actor do when all the elements are against them?
You may be thinking "surely Christina Crawford wasn't that bad of a character." Well here is why I couldn't stand her. Perhaps the number one reason is because she was constantly being portrayed as if she was a model daughter, someone any mother would've been happy to have. It seemed very much like a project by Christina to boost her ego. Another reason I hated this character, or dare I say person, is because the acting was so extraordinarily bad that I cringed at everything she said.
This movie took cheap punches at Joan Crawford with all the accusations of her sanity and whether she deserved to be called a legend. I call them cheap because she couldn't even defend herself because this piece of garbage was made after she died. The real Christina Crawford even admitted that some of the scenes in the movie were fabricated for the screen so that the movie would do well. One of them being the famous "NO WIRE HANGERS" scene.
If you see a copy of this movie anywhere, please destroy it. It is just a long pile of nonsensical hogwash. The one redeeming quality is Dunaway's good acting.
Watch the Wire Hanger's Scene here!