1981, Paramount, 129 min. Dir. Frank Perry.Faye Dunaway scorches as Joan Crawford in this blistering exposé of the icon’s troubled and abusive relationship with heradopted daughter, Christina Crawford (who penned the memoir on which the film is based). Told from the perspective of grown-up Christina (Diana Scarwid) remembering her traumatic upbringing, “Mommie” Joan crumples under the pressures of alcohol, men and show business, and turns into an emotionally manipulative domestic monster. Though a critical disaster on its initial release, earning an abundance of Razzie Award wins and nominations, the film has since become a cult touchstone, thanks to a ferocious performance by Dunaway and no-holds-barred direction by Frank Perry (THE SWIMMER, PLAY IT AS IT LAYS). With Mara Hobel as young Christina, Steve Forrestas Joan’s Hollywood lawyer boyfriend, hopelessly loyal to MGM, and Howard Da Silva as the screaming studio titan himself, Louis B. Mayer.
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