Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Mommie Dearest is a cult-classic adaptation of actress Joan Crawford's daughter's tell-all, published in 1978, exposing her mother as a self-absorbed narcissist, alcoholic, and abusive, cruel parent. It features casual smoking and drinking, excessive strictness and verbal abuse, slapping, screaming fights, obscenities, and a famous scene involving spectacular rage over the use of wire hangers. There is casual profanity ("bitch," "s--t") and one brief use of "f--k." Though it's a disturbing portrait of a Hollywood star's sad life behind the scenes and the abuse suffered by her children, who claim they were adopted as a publicity stunt, the dramatic production and over-the-top performances have earned the film a spot for its campy brilliance. Best for teens who can understand the pathos here as well as the impressionistic world of memoirs-turned-film and Lifetime-style production.
A man and woman enter a shower together naked (woman's shoulders up; man's waist up); a woman references seven previous miscarriages.
Slapping children; spanking; yelling; mother locks daughter in changing room, insists she eat unrefrigerated leftovers from previous night's unfinished dinner, cuts daughter's hair roughly, hits daughter with bottle of cleaner, violently cuts rose bushes.
"F--k," "goddamn," "hell," "bitch," "s--tty," "for Christ's sake"; harsh tones and verbal abuse such as "quitter."
Surviving an abusive childhood.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Casual smoking and drinking throughout; references to alcoholism; daughter finds mother passed out, ostensibly drunk.