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Parents' Guide to

Mommie Dearest

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Campy skewering of Hollywood star is both silly and sad.

Movie PG 1981 129 minutes
Mommie Dearest Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

This is NOT PG

This is a movie about a broken, abusive family. Once it came on in the middle of the night when I was 11 and I was scarred. And I had seen movies like Grease, West Side Story, and Nightmare On Elm Street 1 and 2 at the time. Characters drink and smoke, physically abuse their children, and much more. Children should not watch this. If you've seen a psychological horror film focused on family abuse, this isn't for you. I've played DDLC, a game where characters cut, are abused by their parents, and commit suicide. That's less scary than this movie to me.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This quirky classic may not be good in the traditional way we value films, but it's a unique study in memoirs-turned-biopics. It was widely hated upon release in 1981 for its embarrassing tawdriness and reckless interpretation of the book on which it was allegedly based, but it has since come to represent high camp that may or may not reveal much about the real Crawford but still tells us something useful about Hollywood's treatment of its biggest stars and the realities of life as the children of famous actors -- at least through the lens of a director bringing a memoir to life.

The performances have been called near kabuki for good reason -- everything is overacted, overly felt, and so played to the hilt that this version of what would otherwise be truly sad abuse instead often reads as comical. Great for discussions about our depictions of the Hollywood machine, the unreliable narrator, and the benefits (if any) of the tell-all.

Movie Details

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