Mommie Dearest


*Spoiled! Spoiled rotten!*

First, let me premise this by saying that I’ve never seen a Joan Crawford movie in my life. I used to think that watching Dixie Carter was enough, but I think I might be wrong.

Anyway, this movie is an adaption of the book by Christina Crawford of the same name, detailing the child abuse wracked upon her and her brother. The movie itself is not a single story other than waiting to watch how the daughter turns out in the end. I won’t give away the ending, and I won’t even save the biggest secret (I think) if the film, but if you do watch it, keep in mind its written by the daughter of Joan Crawford.

The second most striking thing about this movie was how the worked to make the lighting similar to movies in which Joan Crawford starred: that bar of light right across the eyes; the spot on the face for the pained look. It was really quite masterful and well-crafted. I thought I was watching a movie from the 50s at one point. It was a time-warp of a movie, an anachronism of sorts.

Anyway, the movie itself is quite disturbing as far as the severity of the child abuse (no gore, just disturbing images and lots of nervous break-downs), but compelling to watch. I do recommend it for its artistry.

That said, it must have been hard to live with a woman who acted in every facet of her life. The film portrayed her as constantly posing for an invisible camera. In fact, its mentioned quite specifically a couple times in the movie. An odd personality, almost obsessive. No wonder she’s an icon.


5 Responses to “Mommie Dearest”

  1. mrschili Says:

    I read the book, then saw the movie, and I’m a little bothered by how clearly I remember much of both.

    I also remember that there was a HUGE firestorm of controversy over both the autobiography and the film. Whether that was because Christina Crawford embellished her story or because no one wanted to believe that a beloved film star could be so awful in her private life – or maybe a little bit of both – I never quiet figured out, but I do remember Christina getting more than her share of hate mail and derision because of it.


  2. Kizz Says:

    My mom pitched a fit when I wanted to go see it when it came out. She did eventuay let me but I felt like I couldn’t talk about it afterward at all. I only saw it that once way back when it came out, though, so my memory is old and moldy.

  3. mabnyc Says:

    Someone has to say it.

    “No wire hangers! EVER!!!”

  4. Grammar Snob Says:

    All I remember are the hangers. And being very very upset by the movie. I don’t do abuse movies well. Not that anyone does, really.

  5. mrschili Says:

    MAB, I DID say it…

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