It's said that Faye Dunaway possibly wrecked two careers when she decided to portray Joan Crawford in 'Mommie Dearest.'
What's more tiresome than a gay man talking about legendary motion picture Mommie Dearest? Probably nothing, but in my zeal to keep you all entertained during this coronavirus pandemic by spotlighting various campy movies, how could I not? In between my posts exposing the anti-LGBTQ industry, I like to think that I'm lightening the mood of my people and our allies. It all can't be about the fight. Sometimes a little levity is needed.
Anyway, Mommie Dearest is based on the 1978 book by the same name, which is considered the grandfather of celebrity tell-all biographies published by a star's relative revealing that said star is actually a monster in contrast to their public image. This one was about famous actress Joan Crawford, as told by her adopted daughter, Christina. According to Christina, Joan subjected her and her brother to extreme physical and mental abuse. When it was published, Mommie Dearest created a firestorm with various celebrities and friends of the late Joan Crawford assembling in opposite camps to either vouch for or deny Christina's various shocking stories.
Then the 1981 movie came out and Mommie Dearest vaulted into epic status. The motion picture took a different tone from the book in that it became mostly a biography of Joan Crawford (minus juicier moments like her feud with Bette Davis) with her and Christina's relationship serving as the centerpiece. The book itself was explosive enough. The movie became a camp classic because of the actress who portrayed Crawford - Faye Dunaway.
Looking back, it's almost difficult to believe that Dunaway had such a successful career. She always acted as if she was eating scenery like it was her last meal. But whatever she had, it made her into an Oscar-winning star. Until Mommie Dearest. The trailer says it all:
Dunaway wasn't just acting in Mommie Dearest. She seemed to be channeling the atomic bomb with the cast and crew being Hiroshima. I wouldn't be surprised if we found out that after the director said 'cut,' she took bites out of the furniture and punched holes in the set walls. I have to wonder why didn't anyone on the set tell Dunaway to dial it down. Or at least slip her a Valium or some type of sedative before each scene.