TIFF Cinematheque Special Screenings

Mommie Dearest

Frank PerryUSA129 minutes198114AColourEnglish

May 13
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.

    Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway ascended to the Valhalla of camp with her full-throttle turn as Hollywood screen queen Joan Crawford in this cinematization of the scandalous tell-all memoir by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina. One of five children adopted by the actress in the early 1940s, the rebellious Christina (played by Mara Hobel as a child and Diana Scarwid as an adult) becomes the main target of Crawford's ruthless perfectionism and physical and mental abusiveness — which reaches its height in the infamous "night raid" scene, with Crawford/Dunaway's immortal declaration "No more wire hangers — EVER!" Intended as a serious drama, the film was met with scathing reviews but soon picked up a cult following who appropriated it as a delightfully unintentional comedy; knowing a good thing when they saw one, a month into the film's release the film's studio Paramount launched a new advertising campaign to play up the film's camp angle, declaring it "the biggest MOTHER of them all!"