Trivia / Mommie Dearest

  • AFIS 100 Years 100 Heroes And Villains:
    • #41 Villain, Joan Crawford
  • AFIS 100 Years 100 Movie Quotes:
    • #72, "No wire hangers, ever!"
  • Creator Backlash: Faye Dunaway regrets having played Joan Crawford in the movie version and doesn't like to talk about it, either. Christina Crawford also regretted it being made.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Christina Crawford felt the film was awful too, saying "my mother didn't deserve that".
  • Genre-Killer: While the book spawned a slew of nasty tell-all "memoirs" by children of famous celebrity parents that continues to this day, this film seemed have killed the idea of turning those books into major motion pictures, save for a television movie every now and then.
  • Genre Popularizer: As mentioned, Christina Crawford's book started a slew of mean-spirited books written by children of famous actors about their parents' alleged abusive and loose behavior. Lampshaded in The Golden Girls, in a bookstore Sophia says she's going to go browse in the "Bitter children of celebrities" section.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: Christina's soap opera set is the Cunningham home from Happy Days.
  • Parody:
    • MAD Magazine referenced Mommie Dearest in their After the End satire of Who Framed Roger Rabbit from issue #284. With Roger's career already in decline, his daughter adds to his problems by publishing a tell-all book called "Bunny Dearest: A Hare-Raising Shocker".
    • Robin Williams also parodied this in one of his stand-up comedy routines that he called "Daddy Dearest", in which his hypothetical child berates his father's performance in the movie version of Popeye.
  • Meta Casting: In an interview in the 1970s, Joan Crawford had said that only Faye Dunaway was among the current crop of actors who "had what it takes" to really become a star. So Joan was played by Faye Dunaway in the movie.
  • Parody Retcon: The movie started being advertised as a parody a few weeks after its release. Posters were changed to read, "Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all!"
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • Faye Dunaway, considering nobody could take her seriously after this role.
    • In a roundabout sort of way, Joan Crawford herself, who died years before the film came out. Nowadays, more people associate her with this campy movie about how she abused her daughter then the films that made her famous.
  • Truth in Television: Some modern audiences are confused at the film where Christina's soap opera seems to be both performed live and being recorded at the same time. This was a technique called "live tape" where television shows were performed as if live, including timed pauses for commercial breaks, but recorded for later broadcast.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Faye Dunaway talks about a scene between Joan and the young Christina on the beach, where they would have a heart-to-heart. It would explain some of Joan's erratic behaviour and serve to humanise her a little. Dunaway was shocked that such an emotional scene was shot so early in production, and took that as a warning sign that the filmmakers' priorities weren't in the right place. The scene ended up cut.
    • There was a long sequence filmed, where Christina runs away from home and Joan goes out looking for her in the car.
    • Anne Bancroft had been cast as Joan initially, but left the project after the screenplay was completed. She viewed the film as a "hatchet-job", many other actresses having turned down the part for it being too unsympathetic towards Joan.
    • Franco Zeffirelli intended to direct the film, but had a vision of Joan Crawford as a glamorous Hollywood martyr. Christina Crawford disliked this and thus it didn't happen.
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