Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mommie Dearest |
Hollywood Royalty/Special Collector's Edition
Actors: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva, Mara Hobel
Director: Frank Perry
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Outrageous and controversial, this is the story of legendary movie star Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) as she struggles for her career and battles the inner demons of her private life. This torment was manifested in her rela... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Member Movie Reviews
Joyce W. (Jwag) from SCOTTVILLE, MI
Reviewed on 10/25/2012...
The theme of this movie is incredibly heart breaking for the adoptive daughter. It is played well and definitely shows you cannot judge a book by its cover. However, this movie is rated PG and at the least should be rated PG 13 due to language and violence. I gave a 3 star rating because of the acting which was incredibly done well. But for those who are offended by language such as is found in this movie, I feel it only fair to warn you.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Fury, thy name is Faye!
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 08/01/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay- here is one that will keep you up at night. Faye Dunaway is deeply scary as Joan Crawford in this way-over-the-top screen adaptation of Christina Crawford's vituperative memoir. The opening scene sets the camp-fest tone: we are treated to a loooong sequence of Miss Crawford preparing for her movie shoot, which involves her scrubbing her face, elbows, and nails with what appears to be a Brillo pad before dousing them in boiling water and iced alcohol (I defy you not to think "morning cocktail, Joan?). At the end of the sequence, her face is revealed to us- Faye Dunaway with big hairy commas for eyebrows.Faye's ferocious, wildly over-the-top performance seems to have been based on the conceit that Joan Crawford never had a moment off screen that she wasn't acting- except perhaps when she was being crazy and beating the kids or chopping down trees. There are a lot of conflicting reports on the character of Miss Crawford, some painting her as an ogre, some as an angel. Like most people, she most likely was something in between. It looks as if Frank Perry told Faye to keep Joan's performances in "Straight Jacket"' "Possessed" and "Queen Bee" at the front of her mind at all times, and act accordingly. Like these movies, she is supported by sub-B movie actors (Steve Forrest?!?), who manage to look like they are in fear for their lives throughout the whole movie. They should have been afraid for their careers.Nobody can find the abuse of a child funny, but how can you not want to smack the gooey, calculating little Mara Hobel? The snivelling, robotic Diana Scarwid isn't much better (and her first appearance her southern accent is really jarring: "ah unduhstaaaaand")Plus, the movie has a wierdly underpopulated look to it. For someone who was a star for fifty years, Joan seemed to have nobody around her (maybe it was the ax...). She runs her house with one nanny/secretary, and one maid whom we see for one scene. She has one boyfriend, and an "uncle" before marrying Al Steele- and we know that Joan was "popular". At the end of her life she is shown drinking her vodka on a lone mattress on the floor of her apartment, watching Tina accept an award for her. Except for the famous board room scene (which Faye plays like a hungry puma chained just out of reach of the meat counter) most of her scenes have one or two people in them. The Oscar win is really funny- she wins the Oscar when she is home "sick", then makes a grand speech to the throngs of photographers at the door. Except there are maybe 10 people total.But this is all nit-picking. This movie is great in a train-wreck kind of way. It is so blindingly awful, yet clearly made with the intention of being an IMPORTANT MOVIE, that you can't help but giggle. Dunaway's wild gamble of a performance neatly derailed an Oscar-winning career; nobody could look at her without seeing Faye-as-Joan (Use the words "Mommie Dearest" around her at your peril) I give it 3 stars for the price of the DVD ([...] retail? Are you high?) and as for the lack of extras, I doubt you'd get any from Paramount on a movie that the director sued them to stop the advertising campaign for.I demand a directors cut right now!"
Mommie Dearest - an underrated film
Tom | Toronto, Ontario | 06/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Diva on a rampage
Larry D. Rodriguez | Houston, TX | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. Also, there is the scene when she walks in on her mother making out with the good-looking younger man. Instead of running out of the room, she stands there, Lolita-esque, just staring and staring. Her mother exacts her retribution by packing her off to boarding school!Of course, the abuse scenes are the most effective of all. Try as I might, I can't sit through the sissors, wire hanger, or choke scenes without bursting into laughter. Call me sick, or jaded. Of the three, the wire hanger scene is the best. If they had stopped at the beating, that would have been enough, but then Joan goes further with it. She drags Christina into the bathroom, criticizes an obviously spotless floor (that she made her own young daughter clean when she has a maid (!) ), and then proceeds by showering her with cleaning powder. It really breaks my heart when I see young Christina there, teary-eyed, saying "Jesus Christ". I never laugh at that part. Then, her younger brother comes to help, and she begs him to go back to bed. Poor thing. Older Christina is a disappointment. First, she has that twangy accent. Are we really to believe that Joan Crawford's daughter spoke this way? The most annoying part is when she flatly says, "We'll manage" (twice), in the scene when her mother tearfully tells her of losing another movie contract. As for Faye Dunaway, I wish they hadn't made her say "I'm damn mad!" twice. That's the only line she utters that irritates me.This is the one movie that I could watch endlessly. It is a tour de force, and camp to boot."