The Redford Theater presents Mommie Dearest (1981) on Mother’s Day, Saturday, May 13, 8 p.m.

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As we approach Mother’s Day, we at the Redford Theatre have decided to offer you a little different look at motherhood on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m.

Directed by Frank Perry and starring the legendary actress Faye Dunaway, Mommie Dearest is a riveting drama that explores the complicated relationship between a famous Hollywood actress and her adopted daughter. Based on the memoir by Christina Crawford, the film tells the story of Joan Crawford, one of the biggest movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s, and her tumultuous relationship with her daughter.

Dunaway delivers a tour-de-force performance as Joan, capturing her glamorous persona and darker, erratic behavior. Callahan Tormey wrote a year ago in Town & Country magazine: “The film has become infamous for its ludicrous language, sumptuous furnishings, and over-the-top acting with a capital A. (Crawford’s other daughters, household staff, and family friends denounced it as fiction.) it should also be singled out for praise as a great Mother’s Day movie: mainly, as a How Not To Parent handbook—in extremis.”

Mommie Dearest includes a notoriously famous scene of Crawford beating Christina with a wire hanger. (Again, Christina has said it never happened.) Watch that scene and more here:

Mommie Dearest was initially given an R rating but was changed to PG upon appeal.

Some more things to look for:

* The $300 paid for the dress put on a wired hanger in 1946 would be the same as a $4,356.90 dress set on a wired hanger in 2020.
* The soap opera Christina performs in is the same set as the Cunningham home from Happy Days (1974). The kitchen is identical, and the very recognizable living room can be viewed behind the actor sitting at the kitchen counter.
* The scene where Joan gets out of the cab in front of Christina’s apartment was the same exterior used for Laverne and Shirley’s Milwaukee apartment, filmed at Paramount Studios.

We hope you’ll join us for a Mother’s Day film like no other, but you’ll have to arrive 30 minutes before show time to enjoy the delightful Organ Overture played on our unique Barton Theatre Pipe Organ.

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