For our April Fools tradition of celebrating 'bad movies we love' (last year it was Can't Stop the Music) we opted for Frank Perry's ill-fated but extremely memorable Mommie Dearest (1981). The film, which was quickly adapted from Christina Crawford's 1978 best-selling memoir (published just a year after her famous mother's death), starred Faye Dunaway as the great movie star and Mara Hobel and Diana Scarwid as Christina, Steve Forrest as Crawford's longtime boyfriend Gregg Savitt and Rutanya Alda as Crawford's loyal assistant Carol Ann. The book was controversial in its day, with many stars defending their former co-star but the stories stuck in the public consciousness and the movie lives on in infamy. It was greeted with much derision, winning multiple Razzies (the entire principle cast just listed was nominated in their individual acting categories) but Dunaway's work, oft-quoted and beloved to this day in certain communites (ahem), has always had its share of valiant defenders.
Paul Lohmannn (Nashville, High Anxiety) was the director of photography and here are the films most memorable or "best" shots, according to participants around the web.
MOMMIE DEAREST BEST SHOTS
10 images chosen by 11 blogs
Click on the images to read the corresponding articles
The film is at its best, in fact, when it's focusing on Joan and her relationship with celebrity and fame, rather than the tawdry details of her family."
-The Entertainment Junkie
I've spent the whole afternoon sick to my stomach and terrified that I just can't do camp anymore."
-Antagony & Ecstasy
Whatever the Real Joan Crawford felt for the Real Christina may never been known. But Movie Joan has a clear resentment for Movie Christina."
She’s like the shark in Jaws... She smelled the blood and now she’s going to go for it."
- Where Are The Advertisers
This movie could be the greatest movie of all time, if it weren't so clearly one of the worst."
- Fistful of Films
I had never seen Mommie Dearest before, but being a child of pop culture, I've certainly seen the infamous "No wire hangers!" scene spoofed and referenced hundreds of times..."
Ultimately, this dishonor – fuck the Razzies – is a cornerstone of the film’s so-bad-it’s-good camp classic legacy...
This shot right here is filled with bone-chilling intensity..."
- I Want to Believe
For a moment what the film needs is not a stronger director but an exorcist."
- The Film Experience
The thing is -and I feel a little bad for Christina saying this- that nobody cares about the abuse she suffered as a child..."
- Coco Hits NY
While Joan (definitely) failed as a good mother, her resilience as a Hollywood star and later a Pepsi executive are to be admired"
- Drink Your Juice, Shelby
NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT ON BEST SHOT: Because Joan deserves balance, the feminist western Johnny Guitar (1954). Won't you join us? Joan is pretty great in it.