Mommie Dearest

Synopsis: The relationship between Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother Joan Crawford is presented from Christina's view. Unable to bore children, Joan, in 1940, was denied children through regular adoption agencies due to her twice divorced status and being a single working person. Her lover at the time, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lawyer Greg Savitt, was able to go through a brokerage to adopt a baby girl, who would be Christina, the first of Joan's four adoptive children. Joan believes that her own difficult upbringing has made her a stronger person, and decides that, while providing the comforts that a successful Hollywood actress can afford, she will not coddle Christina or her other children, she treating Christina more as a competitor than a daughter. Joan's treatment of Christina is often passive-aggressive, fueled both by the highs and lows of her career, the narcissism that goes along with being an actress, and alcohol abuse especially during the low times. However, Joan sees much of her
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Frank Perry
Production: Paramount Pictures
  9 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min


[Alarm buzzing]

[Knock on door]


We're ready for you, Miss Crawford.

Let's go.

And on our left, just up the hill,

the palatial home of movie queen Joan Crawford,

whose new movie, Ice Follies 1939...


Excuse me.

Helga's finished in the living room, Miss Crawford.

Oh, good.

Carol Ann, help me with this.



When you Polish the floor, you have to move the tree.

If you can't do something right, don't do it at all.

I'm sorry, Miss Crawford.

Give me the soap.

You see, Carol Ann,

you have to stay on top of

things every single minute.


[Doorbell chimes]

Carol Ann, will you get that?

Yes, Miss Crawford.

Helga, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt.

Come on. Yes, ma'am.

Hello, Carol Ann.

Oh, Mr. Savitt. Come in.

Greg, you're early.

Only an hour and a half.

Well, take your shoes off.

I've just washed that floor.

What about the socks?

I can handle the socks.

[Shower running]

Hello, Bridget.

[Camera clicks]

Miss Crawford, words cannot express our gratitude

for the happiness you bring our children.

No. I'm the one who's grateful, reverend mother.

Being here with you and the children at Christmas

is one of the things I most look forward to.

Bridget, look.

[Click click]

Be careful.

Merry Christmas, Bridget.

You know what's missing in my life?

A hit movie.

Come on.

You've got everything you want.

No, I don't. I want a baby.

A baby?


You know I've always wanted a kid.

You're too vain to be pregnant.


I can't have one.

I was pregnant seven times with franchot.

I lost them all.

I'm going to adopt one.

Out of the question.

What do you mean?

I mean no agency would give you a baby.

How do you know?

I'm a lawyer.

Bend the law.

Bend the law?

Joan, you're an actress. You've been divorced twice.

Adoption agencies can be brutal.

Besides, a baby needs a father.

A father.

A father...

I never had a father.

Ma changed husbands faster

than she changed bed sheets.

Ma, with her sloppiness and her dirt.

You know, hard times is good for people.

I tell you it is.

Would I be where I am if I hadn't had them?

I could be a mother and a father.

I know how to teach a kid to take care of himself

and amount to something. I know I could.

Maybe you could.

One thing's certain.

You'd sure get a lot of publicity.

Don't you--


You guys in Hollywood, all you

think about is publicity,

deals, box office.

Why don't you try to understand a woman?

I'm afraid I have some difficult

news for you, Miss Crawford.

The agency has denied your application for adoption.

But why?

Well... You live alone.

There's no other family member in the home.

You have two previous divorces.

You're a busy, active woman,

"and the candidate is found

to be an unsuitable parent."


Please, Miss Crawford.

Don't you dare judge me!

We have a moral and legal responsibility in this job.

Obviously you don't understand.

What you're really doing is

denying one of your children

the opportunity to live a

wonderful and advantaged life.

How sad that is.

Good afternoon.

Do I look all right?

Am I dressed right?

Oh, for god's sake, Joan.




The kid's only a couple of months old.

It's not going to know.

I know.

Why aren't they here?

I don't know.

Greg, darling, please don't drink.

I don't want whiskey on your breath.

Damn it, Joan, I got you the baby.

It's yours! You have it.

I know.

[Doorbell chimes]

They're here.

[Carol Ann] Hello.

Please, this way.

We're so pleased, Miss Crawford.

Thank you, doctor.

Thank you.

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Frank Yablans

Frank Yablans (August 27, 1935 – November 27, 2014) was an American studio executive, film producer and screenwriter. more…

All Frank Yablans scripts | Frank Yablans Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Mommie Dearest" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 May 2021. <>.

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