- If you ever see her in the street, stop and ask her about Mommie Dearest, OP.
And ask her about Andrew Lloyd Webber, too!
- Being an onset difficult actress with a heroin addiction ruined her career. Mommie Dearest was just the excuse.
- Faye never accepted that as an actress she moved from sex symbol to character actress. Obviously after playing Joan Crawford, she could never move back to sex symbol. Plus she was too vain to ever be considered for the Judi Dench and Maggie Smith roles that brought those actresses high profile roles.%0D\
Plus she''s just a bitch to work with.
Shelley Winters, former sex symbol turned character actress
- She must''ve been a ball when she was doing that sitcom with Robert Urich.
- Faye had burnt too many bridges. By bridges, I mean blonde Aryan children!
- Watched Bonnie and Clyde the other night. She was amazing and incredibly beautiful.%0D\
What a fall from that to Mommy Dearest.
- r1 Or just ask her about her landlord.
- [quote]Being an onset difficult actress with a heroin addiction ruined her career. Mommie Dearest was just the excuse.%0D\
More please, R2:-)
- Even during filming and review of the dailies, how anyone thought Mommie Dearest would be seen as a serious film about an abusive Hollywood star rather than the ubercampfest it turned out to be is beyond me.
- [quote]Many, many actresses turned down this role because they knew Joan Crawford, though dead since 1977, still had friends in high in places in 1981 Hollywood.\
What? If it had a detrimental effect on her career it''s because the film was a cheesy campfest, not because Crawford had "her people" guarding her perceived reputation.
- She was the hollywood "it" girl in the seventies. All glamour, not an ounce Of talent, won an Oscar for her cheekbones and has shit on everyone since. Winning an Oscar in your twenties is the kiss of death.\
Se was the only one who believed her press. Look up the piles of shit she has done on imdb. A girl has to pay the bills somehow.
You can call me Shirley.
- r11, she was terrific in Network.
- Yes, but she hasn''t been ''beautiful'' since 1970.
- Talent or no talent, she''ll go to her grave with the satisfaction of having been fucked by Warren Beatty in his prime. How many of you bitches can say that?
- R12 she overacts her clit off in Network.
- Been fucked. Once. It was like fucking a dead fish. if she wasn''t so damn paranoid about that fucking wig I could have at least used her ears as handles.
- It''s called chewing scenery.
- Dunaway was definitely on some drug when she was married to singer Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band.
A relative, who was a music photographer, took me backstage to a J. Geils Band gig at The Academy of Musci in NYC, this venue later became the Palladium. Faye was there, she was very skinny and sickly looking. She was wearing a bag black dress and sandals, she certainly didn't look like a movie star!
In those days, bands played early and late shows. We were all hanging out backstage before the late show, there were people from the music industry, rock journalists, photographers, hangers on and others.
The photographers were a much different breed back then, they weren't as aggressive as the paparazzi today. If a photographer was backstage, they'd ask before taking a photo. That probably explains when no one was taking photos of Faye and Peter backstage.
I remember really having to pee, but Faye and Peter must have been in the toilet for about 20 minutes, when she came out she was scratching her arms and he was rubbing his nose.
- R15, EVERYONE in Network overacts, you idiot!
that''s the point - it''s a satire
- Yet, r16, you must look back on her as a great lay compared to what you have to climb on top of nowadays.
- She never really had a solid run career-wise. There were plenty of duds between Bonnie/Thomas Crown and Chinatown.
- [quote]Winning an Oscar in your twenties is the kiss of death.%0D\
- "If it had a detrimental effect on her career it''s because the film was a cheesy campfest, not because Crawford had ''her people'' guarding her perceived reputation."\
Exactly. And the fact that Dunaway gave one of screen history''s most horrendous performances in that cheesy campfest may have had a little something to do with the collapse of her career.
- Who cares the end result of Mommie Dearest was it is/was immensely entertaining. Isn''t that all that matters? \
I have never seen an actress of Faye''s beauty lose her looks so fast. What happened?
- I agree that Mommie Dearest was one of the most watchable movies of all time. And it wouldn''t have been the same without Faye Dunaway in the part.\
The only other actor who could have done the role justice would have been Lucille Ball.
- In a list of the campiest performances ever (in films that were intended to be serious), there would be Faye in MD, Patty Duke in VOTD and who else? Just curious who you guys come up with.
- Are you people crazy? Dunaway was fantastic in ''Mommie Dearest.''\
That said, I don''t think it helped her career. It was such an amazing performance that it defined her. You can''t be credible washing dishes in the kitchen sink after you''ve played Crawford as a monster. Can anyone look at Bette Davis the same way after ''Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?'' The same thing with Dunaway and ''Mommie Dearest.'' \
The problem for Dunaway was that she was only 40 when she did ''M.D.'', Davis was 54 when she did ''WHtBJ.''
- Isn''t she from a town called One Potato in Florida?
- The ruin of her career had nothing to do with Mommie Dearest. It was her piss poor performance as Evita Peron on tv the year before that ended her career. %0D\
And it was "to be continued" two night television movie. A woman who died at 33 gets a two night movie of the week. Of all the cheek!!
- I think Dunaway is a very talented actress. I watched Bonnie and Clyde the other night, and the end scene where she gives Beatty that knowing glance just as they''re gunned down - magnificent. Despite her beauty, she could emote simply using her eyes.\
Perhaps, I''m in the minority here, but I also think that Dunaway gave a striking performance in MD. How many of us were riveted to the screen the first time we saw that movie? That takes real talent. I thought she came across believably as a raging, abusive narcissist.\
Not all of her work was bad after MD, either. Barfly, in particular, is a great film and Faye does a wonderful job in that role.
- She went to Leon H.S. in Tallahassee and then to Florida State. I think she may have been at FSU when Burt Reynolds was playing football there.
- Does anyone ever mention the part anorexia played in Faye''s looks circa 1975?
- Mommie was an embarassment for all involved and Dunaway never recovered from it.
- Turning 40%0D\
Losing her looks%0D\
It''s a bad combo. %0D\
She also had younger actresses like Jessica Lange, Kathleen Turner, and Sissy Spacek on her tail, by that point.
- I dont know about Mommie Dearest, but I think her made for tv Eva Peron biopic probably did even more damage.
- She did a lot of good work after MD in middling films. Movies stopped being character driven about that time, which limited her chances. And she wasn''t a young woman, i.e., she was too old and too strong to play the babe parts.%0D\
The pity is that she doesn''t get more parts. She could have done the Streep part in "The Devil Wears Prada" far better than Streep.
- "She was the hollywood "it" girl in the seventies. All glamour, not an ounce Of talent, won an Oscar for her cheekbones and has shit on everyone since. Winning an Oscar in your twenties is the kiss of death.%0D\
Se was the only one who believed her press. Look up the piles of shit she has done on imdb. A girl has to pay the bills somehow."%0D\
Are you talking about me? Oh, you mentioned the 70s, otherwise I''m pretty sure you were describing me exactly.%0D\
- I don''t think it''s a matter of opinion that Dunaway gives a horrendous performance in MD; the only question is how much of the fault is hers and how much belongs to the director and the screenwriter.
- [quote]Winning an Oscar in your twenties is the kiss of death%0D\
So what''s the deal when you win an Oscar at age 36?
Faye''s DOB - 1/14/41
- Barbra Streisand and Diane Keaton are the only top actresses from the 70s that get big parts anymore, although Keaton is mainly a supporting actress these days.
- [quote]Barbra Streisand and Diane Keaton are the only top actresses from the 70s that get big parts anymore%0D\
We have moments!
Sally, Sissy, and Shirley
- R40 and the only reason Streisand gets parts is because she casts herself in her dreary vanity projects.
- "Network" makes "Mommie Dearest" look like "Citizen Kane." "Network" is a terrible movie and it has not held up.
- Faye''s stupid to not just let herself have some fun with Mommie Dearest. Certainly, nobody I know HATES her performance. You want a lousy movie with a bad leading performance that killed a career? Pinocchio with Roberto Begnini.\
Mommie Dearest is a classic. Maybe not for the right reasons, but it''s an enjoyable thrill ride from beginning to end. Faye should just embrace it, do some commentary on a DVD rerelease and let the shit fly for fun. I hate it when actors take themselves so fucking seriously.
- A lot of people thought so at the time but I think Faye was at a tipping point anyway - she was an actress of a certain age and she wasn't exactly a trailblazer like Meryl Streep has turned out to be. There was a new more versatile generation of actresses emerging (Spacek, Lange), Sally Field had re-invented herself and Keaton was still very much in the game. Her time was up and she just failed to evolve.
Having seen this again recently, there really isn't anything wrong with Dunaway's performance (supposedly she was the runner-up for the NY Critics Film Circle Award that year), it's just that the script and thus the film is so unrelentingly GRIM. Crawford is portrayed as rather cartoon-ish but you can't fault Dunaway for that. Her failure was really one of development - one might've suspected that being an actress herself she might've sympathised with Crawford a bit more and demanded a more three-dimensional character. Instead she just dives in and does exactly what the script and director require. It all seems a bit heartless.
People may not have felt like doing Dunaway any favours after that, I suppose.
- R43, that''s madness. Network has only gotten better with time. It''s brilliant and prophetic.
- R7 Wow, what the hell did she do with all of her money that she now lives in a modest West Hollywood home with a mortgage and drives a 2007 Toyota Corolla?
What a mess!
- It''s easy to blow through millions when you live like a bitch diva with no discernible talent.
- Why would she even be considered wealthy? She had, what, three or four successful films. She was a product of the ''70s who would''ve been forgotten at this point if not for the "legacy" of Mommie Dearest.
- Don''t call us.%0D\
We''ll call YOU!
FD as panel judge on THE STARLET
- R49 My point is that someone who has had a career spanning over 40 years (regardless of ups and downs) should at least have their house paid off - especially if it''s a modest one. So it makes one wonder what the fuck she did with the money she made in her heyday, because in the 70''s she was really popular.
- More young Faye. %0D\
Her whole body hangs off those cheekbones!
- I heard she self-financed an as-yet unfinished film of Master Class (the Maria Callas play). Perhaps she re-mortgaged.
- One more time.
- Eye''s Of Laura Marr''s. That was a bad movie.
- MD is awful, and she is awful in it, but I blame the horrendous direction more than I blame Dunaway.
- Bitch is FIERCE.
- What career?
- R53 R55 R58 OK, enough is enough! We get it!
Those days are long gone!
- "Having seen this again recently, there really isn''t anything wrong with Dunaway''s performance."\
You''ve got to be kidding.
- I saw her in a club in Paris, she must have had about 2 bottles of Vodka. Every time she stood up, she fell down.
- For those who are not familiar with mentally ill older women you would think Faye Dunaway''s performance in Mommie Dearest is off the mark or camp. I can tell you from experience it is very much on the mark. Waking your child up in the middle of the night to cut bushes or having break downs because things are cleaned to your liking and yet present themselves as a humble women to the public is very familiar to me. Faye gave a brilliant performance in that movie. I don''t think people want to admit how real the performance is. They can''t come to terms that something can be very funny and very disturbing at the same time.
- [quote]The pity is that she doesn''t get more parts. She could have done the Streep part in "The Devil Wears Prada" far better than Streep.\
I totally agree.
- r64 is an "actress" who can do no better than DirectTV, whatever that is!
- I totally agree too. She would have been great. Meryl isnt good at being the bitch. She looks like she''s playing the bitch.
- Not exactly a stretch for M, now was it.
- "She never really had a solid run career-wise. There were plenty of duds between Bonnie/Thomas Crown and Chinatown"%0D\
Excuse me? Other than four films, Streisand''s entire movie career has been shit. Same with Diane Keaton''s.
- "For those who are not familiar with mentally ill older women you would think Faye Dunaway's performance in Mommie Dearest is off the mark or camp."
Mental illness can happen to anyone, why cite just older women? I think Joan Crawford would have been equally insane if she adopted those kids while in her 20s!
A woman I worked with years ago endured her mentally deranged mother until she was finally of age to leave home. Her mother was mentally ill since her late teens, but refused medications. She then gave birth to my work colleague as well as two sons, all in her early 20s.
One evening, my friend came home literally 10 minutes after curfew. Her mother was so angry, she split open my friend's mattress and poured a pan of freshly cooked asagna into the mattress! This was the day to day insanity my friend lived with.
Besides that sort of lunacy, the mother managed to find a dentist who pulled out all her teeth because she told him she didn't want to deal with having to go to the dentist! He fitted her for dentures and that was it.
This woman was totally mentally deranged, yet she pumped out three kids and abused all of them.
We have tests for everything else in the US, why not a competency test for having children?
- What about SUPERGIRL? Wasn''t that released at approximately the same time as MD? While it wasn''t as popular as MD, Dunaway''s performance was considered campy. Two such performances almost back-to-back may have further solidified her compromised rep.
- She was so beautiful in Chinatown.
- Okay, it was One Potato; it was Two Egg.
- I have never understood anyone finding "Mommie Dearest" anything less than ubercamp. In fact, the reason the film is so wonderfully bad is because you know that they were not expecting it to be so awful--they were actually SERIOUS about what they were filming. The same thing with "Valley of the Dolls." You know that the director really believes that he is making a "statement" about Hollywood, in the same way that Dunaway is portraying "an artist" (which Crawford never was). %0D\
She could have survived "Mommie Dearest" but her behavior was too bizarre. Drugs, drinking, bad management--just the sort of train wreck that gay culture loves. Maybe she and Liza will do a film with one another.
- If they remade "Mommie Dearest" today, who would you cast to play Joan?
How About Sandy Bullock?
- Joan Allen
She''s ageless! ;)
- What major roles does Streisand get offered? She''s playing second fiddle to Ben Stiller and Seth Rogen.%0D\
Keaton and Streep are the only two left who can still bring them in on their names. Fonda too, but she''s retired again.
- What about me?
- She was a bit like a drag queen in SUPERGIRL. I always found this scene totally homoerotic for that very reason.....
- At least Patty Duke is enjoying VOTD after all these years. As a matter of fact she is making a somewhat of a career out of it, going to Film showings of VOTD and doing a talk back about the movie.
- Faye Dunaway was perfectly cast in this role, and if it did ''ruin her career'', it''s exactly what this overacting cunt deserves.
- Faye Dunaway's rent-stabilization problem
Mark Lacter %E2%80%A2 August 3 2011 12:32 PM
She's been sued in Manhattan housing court, accused by her landlord of not living in a $1,048.72 a month, rent-stabilized apartment. Dunaway, who is 70, seems to be spending most of her time in West Hollywood (the landlord says that's where she has her voter and auto registrations). Her son Liam has been living in the NY apartment, which is in a century-old tenement building on East 78th Street. If Dunaway gets evicted, the landlord would be able to more than double the rent. From the NYT:
Rent stabilization rules require tenants to live in the apartment they are renting as a primary residence, not as a second home. Ms. Dunaway, 70, does not appear to be living glamorously. The home in California is a nice but not flashy house on which she still carries a mortgage, according to the lawsuit. Her car is a 2007 Toyota Corolla.
Ms. Dunaway rented her current apartment on the Upper East Side on Aug. 1, 1994, in a six-story yellow brick building with fire escapes in the front. The name next to the outdoor buzzer reads %E2%80%9CF. Dunaway.%E2%80%9D The building%E2%80%99s hallway floors are green linoleum. Its cream walls are chipped, and pink marble steps lead up to her third-floor unit. Her front door is painted aquamarine and has the names %E2%80%9CDunaway/ONeill%E2%80%9D and %E2%80%9CPT Bascom%E2%80%9D listed by the black doorbell. There is a simple brown doormat with black trim. No one answered the door on Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors said they had seen Dunaway in the past, but not so much lately.
- "Mommie Dearest" is "Citizen Kane" compared to "The Eyes of Laura Mars", "The Champ", "The Wicked Lady" and "Supergirl", all of which she made around the time of "Mommie".%0D\
Face it, she had lousy taste. That''s what killed her career. That, and the fact that she''s batshit insane.
- How the hell did an Oscar winning Actress scam herself a rent stabilized apartment in 1994?
- R74 I''d be perfect for the role!
- Did it ruin her career? No. I don''t even remember "Mommie Dearest" being that big of a deal at the time. I think she just went out of fashion. The studios started making more popcorn movies and less of the serious sort of message movies for grownups that she was identified with, and of course being a middle-aged woman in an industry with little use for actresses over 35 didn''t help.
- R85 is right. Aging and losing her looks killed her career, not MD.
- I should''ve known...
- Other actresses have had their careers survive getting older - Jill Clayburgh was a good example of that (loved her in Running with Scissors).\
So, what''s the evidence that Faye had a big drug problem?
- But she played Joan Crawford so over the top that she should have been lauded. \
Right down to the crossed eyes when she got really angry. \
Mommie Dearest is great camp fun.
- R76, Streisand has a leading lady role in Mother''s Curse and she will be the star of Gypsy. Fonda couldn''t get a leading lady role today if she tried. Same goes for Sally Field, Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, Ellen Burstyn or Diane Keaton.
- I don''t get it. All you Faye Dunaway bashing bitches think Babs is the better actress??? Please.
- "Gypsy" isn''t happening.%0D\
And Rogen is the lead in "Mother''s Curse". It''s his project.
- I''ve read the script, R92, and Barbra has just as many lines as Rogen.\
Gypsy is happening.
- R90, that is the only ''leading lady'' (gawd who uses that phrase anymore?) role Streisand has had in the last 10 years.\
Keaton has had 4 lead roles and several supporting roles in the last 10 years. Burstyn was nominated for a best actress Academy Award 10 years ago and works constantly. Sally Field was just cast as Mary Todd Lincoln so, if you''re saying Streisand, on the basis of one role, has a huge career, do does Field.
- Field''s role in Lincoln is supporting.\
Streisand hasn''t worked because she didn''t want to. And at least 2 of the roles that Keaton got in the last 10 years were offered to Streisand first and she turned them down.
- quote]Even during filming and review of the dailies, how anyone thought Mommie Dearest would be seen as a serious film about an abusive Hollywood star rather than the ubercampfest it turned out to be is beyond me.%0D\
Consider the fact that everyone on set likely worshipped Joan AND Faye...and they all collectively bought into their hype at a time when ''camp'' was still being discovered and evolving as a judgment toward ''bad films''.
- I made so many grammatical mistakes in my R63 post that I''m embarrassed. I bounced between writing the post and looking at another website.%0D\
People prefer linear performances like Monique''s in Precious where there is no question how you look at the character. Monique''s character was always boiling with anger. Both Monique and Faye gave great performances. I know from personal experience that women like the one Faye portrayed in Mommie Dearest exist.
- Wtf is "VOTD"?
- [quote]For those who are not familiar with mentally ill older women you would think Faye Dunaway''s performance in Mommie Dearest is off the mark or camp. I can tell you from experience it is very much on the mark. Faye gave a brilliant performance in that movie. I don''t think people want to admit how real the performance is. They can''t come to terms that something can be very funny and very disturbing at the same time.%0D\
As an actor, I can assure you, that there is a very subtle difference, when playing a part, between showing the "truth of the character" and "presenting the character as truth."%0D\
Faye has never been one to understand the nuances. The part of Crawford could''ve been much more restrained in its intensity and could''ve been truly chilling and sad. Instead, it was Clown College.
- Doesn''t matter how many lines are allegedly in the script (Final draft?). Rogen is the one who is going to be billed first, and whom is going to get the lionshare of the publicity. Streisand is supporting. %0D\
And "Gypsy" ain''t happening. Laurents doesn''t want her, because she''s too old. And by the time he kicks the bucket, she''ll be even older. That train has passed. %0D\
"Mirror" crippled her standing in the movie industry. She can say she''s had no desire to work in movies, but I don''t recall reading where one major part has been offered to her since then (besides "Gypsy"). %0D\
Certainly not any of Keaton''s roles. Several of which were written with her in mind.
- [quote]and of course being a middle-aged woman in an industry with little use for actresses over 35 didn''t help.\
Well, you''re nothing but a rotten, crooked lawyer, supplying the grease that makes this shitty movie business work. You think your life''s a mystery? There isn''t a dirty cover-up in this entire business that I don''t know about and your hand is in EVERY one of them, you REEK of it!!!
- I think Diana Scarwid is the one who''s really terrible in that film. Faye isn''t exactly subtle but that''s not what the character calls for.
- [quote]How the hell did an Oscar winning Actress scam herself a rent stabilized apartment in 1994?%0D\
Rent stablization has little to do with providing housing for lower and middle income New Yorkers. %0D\
People with rent stabilized apartments typically "need" those apartments so they can afford the mortgage on their Hamptons house.
- I''M FINGERING MY ASSHOLE TO YENTL!!!
- [The pity is that she doesn''t get more parts. She could have done the Streep part in "The Devil Wears Prada" far better than Streep.]\
[I totally agree.]\
On a different note, are you aware that APPARENTLY (confirmation please), she was Lenny Bruce''s last girlfriend before his OD? \
I always wondered if the bj episode that Al Aronowitz wrote about in the Bruce bio was about Dunaway.
- "Mommie Dearest" was a work of fiction anyway. Christina told so many lies in her book - Crawford was not like that at all in real life.
- R106, you should read publisher Michael Korda''s book ANOTHER LIFE in which he devotes a chapter to his work with Crawford on MY WAY OF LIFE, her stupefying guide to living. His take on her character is very much in keeping with Christina''s and as he got along very well with Joan there is no reason to believe he has a personal grudge against her.
- This tribute she made for |Warren Beatty was so bizarre
- If it did ruin her career it was because the performance was an embarrassment.
- r11 she was 36 when she won but thanks for playing
- [quote]And "Gypsy" ain''t happening. Laurents doesn''t want her, because she''s too old. And by the time he kicks the bucket, she''ll be even older. That train has passed. %0D\
Laurents died last May r100...keep up%0D\
- r98 VOTD = Valley of the Dolls.
- Funny that all of Crawford''s "friends in high places" in Hollywood couldn''t come up with any jobs for her in the late 60s - early 70s.
- R99 community theater in Bumfuck allows you to critique Faye Dunaway''s abilities??? Christ almighty.
- [quote]community theater in Bumfuck allows you to critique Faye Dunaway''s abilities??? Christ almighty%0D\
Actually, R99, knows what he''s talking about. Whereas all you know is how to be a bitch.
- I was looking through her filmography on IMDb and, oh wow, she did two episodes of Touched by an Angel!%0D\
Everybody''s forgotten to mention Helen Mirren as a older leading actress. She''s getting better parts than her contemporaries.
- r41 haven''t you heard of my casting as Mrs. Lincoln in Spielberg''s new Lincoln biography with Daniel Day-Lewis
Sally (#3 before Meryl?...)
- Faye''s late 60s glamour defined her really - and then Chinatown and Milady in the Musketeers films and Network - but rubbish movies like that awful Wicked Lady remake and The Champ and supporting Sinatra in some dreary movie nobody wanted to see all helped to kill her A list status. I hope she is not broke at 70 though !
- Mommie Dearest is the reason we still talk about Faye Dunaway at all. It''s a camp classic.
- [quote]Faye has never been one to understand the nuances. The part of Crawford could''ve been much more restrained in its intensity and could''ve been truly chilling and sad. Instead, it was Clown College.\
The director is to blame for that.
- Apparently, it could have. Which is silly. It''s not a bad movie and she''s actually quite fascinating in it.\
But I think it''s more the fact that she seemed to permit the camp reinvention of herself that the movie lent itself to, rather than reclaiming herself as the great actress and star she was almost universally considered to be before Mommie''s release.\
It''s very sad. Her and Liza were both amazing actresses who also happened to be movie stars. They quickly became casualties of an era that should have been their prime.
- Speaking of which I''d love to see Liza and Faye in a remake of Baby Jane! Of course, few would believe them as sisters but with a little imagination and some Max Factor....
- She has a really hot looking son. What do we know about him?
- By Liza, you mean Liza frikkin Minnelli???? Are you bloody insane?
- Actually not a bad idea. Liza could do most of the movie sitting down.
- This film had a budget of 5 million and managed to gross 19 million domestic upon first release. Hardly, a career killer.
- I simply cannot bear the apologists who fault the "director" and the "screenplay" for Dunaway''s performance in MOMMIE DEAREST. It was her for god''s sake making abhorrent and laughable acting choices about how to say lines, react and ACT in this film. Whatever other faults the movie may have had, she sucked and embarassed herself for cinematic eternity because SHE sucked. It''s no one''s fault but her own.
- How do you explain the NY Film Critics Assn almost giving her their award for best actress then, R127? There is some difference of opinion about her performance.
- R127, unless Faye was totally unwilling to take direction I do think the director Frank Perry had to shoulder at least some of the responsibility for her performance in the film.%0D
Yes, he had to work with what she gave him-- perhaps he suggested that Faye tone it down and she refused. I don't know what the atmosphere was like behind the scenes on [italic]Mommie Dearest[/italic], but most competent actors do not want to look ludicrous and deliberately trash their careers by giving terrible performances. By that point in her career Faye had given a few good performances so I don't think she was incompetent. Something somewhere in the process did not translate, and it became camp.%0D
For all the film's manifest failings (the screenplay is pedestrian and the direction is clunky and uninspired) and despite its many campy moments Dunaway still manages to capture the Hell on earth that a malignant narcissist parent creates. I laugh at the over-the-top scenes and dialogue like everyone else, but at the same time there is an underlying frisson of horror. (This may be my own personal reaction because my mother was abusive).%0D
I do think it was a huge error in directorial judgment to actually show Joan beating the stuffing out of Christina (the "Barbara, PLEASE!" scene is unintentionally hilarious). It's a shame that the direction wasn't more restrained throughout the movie because it could have been really frightening and moving.
- her then boyfriend Terry O''Neil kept meddling in the production (even got a producer credit)which angered people.....it was Babs and Jon Peters all over again
- I think it was partly a PR problem too.%0D\
Remember Crawford herself gave ridiculous ludicrous performances later in her career...see Trog and Possessed for example.%0D\
Upon completion of the film, the producer and the studio should''ve changed course on how the film was to be taken.%0D\
Instead of pushing the film as a dramatic biopic, they could''ve done better to frame it as a post-surreal homage to the Psycho Biddy genre, kind of a send up of her last films.%0D\
It would have made Dunaway seem like a genius.%0D
- "Mommie Dearest" has become ubiquitous in our culture:
- And who could forget these budding young queens and their wonderful performance?
- OP, why don''t you tweet Faye this question yourself? I DARE YOU:
- R127, she did what she was directed to do she also didn''t edit the movie. Perhaps the director didn''t find these takes over-the-top but found it very realistic. I''m sure there were takes that were more toned down but I guess they weren''t going for that.
- Her performance earned a rave review from Pauline Kael, the leading American film critic of the last 40 or 50 years.%0D\
- "She has a really hot looking son. What do we know about him?"%0D\
- I dont know...but I think she is brilliant in MD....Who else in recent memory has given such a ferocious leading performance?
- I think Mommie Dearest was a mix of Faye''s poor acting choices, a director who adored her and couldn''t give helpful feedback, and mediocre writing.%0D\
During the wire hanger scene, Faye is acting like she''s performing to the last row in Madison Square Garden. I bet she blew out at least three camera lenses performing that scene.
- [quote]During the wire hanger scene, Faye is acting like she's performing to the last row in Madison Square Garden. I bet she blew out at least three camera lenses performing that scene.%0D
When my mother was younger she was prone to terrifying crazy abusive episodes and could give Faye's depiction of Joan Crawford a run for her money. (Although my mother did not have a pathological aversion to wire hangers, nor was I bludgeoned with a can of Bon Ami or Little Dutch Boy cleanser or whatever the heck that was.)%0D
The problem is that accurately recreating the behavior of a psychotic abusive harpy does not necessarily work on film. Faye's demented scenery-chewing evokes laughs instead of pity and terror. This is one instance where less is more, and the director must have been terminally intimidated by Faye not to tell her that she needed to scale things way the hell back.%0D
While I cannot help admiring Dunaway's commitment it actually sinks the movie because all the other performances are so lifeless and awful. Not helping matters is the fact that the child actor playing young Christina makes her seem creepy and unsympathetic, to the extent that you kind of wish Joan [italic]would[/italic] kick her ass.
- When I mentioned that I love thius film, I got blasted by a friend who has no idea I came from an abusive family. She's one of those deathly serious about all things types and I tend to simply not discuss my family or upbringing. But my mother also did the night raids--I'd wake up and there she'd be, rifling through the closet or running her hands along the bookcases or inspecting things in the desk that was in my room. Always muttering and having a fit and waking me up in the process for a nice punishment. I can tell you that even back then, I found the wire hanger scene hilarious. I don't know if it was because I could relate to it or because it was a relief to know someone else had a batshit crazy mother. But this movie has always allowed me to laugh at something I never metion to anyone. And whether it's a textbook good or bad performance, all I know is that Faye does give a chilling--albeit at time comedic--performance. I would have loved to have seen her do more films like this. . .but no one has really ever done another film like this. You really can't top it. It makes the horrible funny, and part of its magic is they didn't intend to make it funny. So kudos to Faye; it shouldn't have killed her career.
- r139, I''ve always thought that the wire hanger scene was japanese theatre...The kabuki mask make-up with the headband and white face, the black shroud of a dress, the way that she crouched down like a sumo wrestler in the bathroom, pacing in that crouched position. It''s pure japanese spectacle.
- and her son is HOT!
- He''s adopted.
- I was understanding that the film originally ran for 3 plus hours and was severely chopped down to a length that would make it commercially acceptable. %0D\
I would like to think that a lot of depth was lost in these edits and it would seem to make sense as all of the "good stuff" from the book, i.e. abuse sequences are kept there and the film winds up playing like a highlight reel of Joan Crawford abuse. The film is heinously edited as it is, particularly leading up to the wire hangers scene which directly follows Joan''s Oscar win making it seem as if it happened on the same night.%0D\
That being said I don''t really know if Dunaway was a skilled enough actor to be able to convey Crawford''s pain and vulnerability.%0D\
Kael described Dunaway''s performance as operatic in scale and I think that''s a pretty accurate description.
- R145 Do you think there would be a market for an unedited version of the film? Heck, I would see it! Wouldn''t you?
- I think Crawford had severe OCD. I think her rages were actually kind of an accurate reflection of how people can act when troubled.%0D\
The film''s history has been rewritten. I can remember Dennis Cunningham on CBS Tv predicting her as a Best Actress nominee. A lot of lists had her as a contender that year instead of Susan Sarandon in Atlantic City.
- I would love to see an unedited version of it. %0D\
One of my other big criticisms is that it seems as if Diana Scarwid is intentionally underplaying which makes Faye look all the more ridiculous, though she did herself no favors as she made Christina seem mildly mentally disabled and I''m not trying to be cute. Scarwid''s Christina seemed like she was on the autism spectrum. Whether Scarwid''s underplaying was intentional or not it sabotaged Dunaway''s performance.
- Dunaway took a lot of risks with her role, and most of them paid off.%0D\
I doubt if many major actresses would have gone that far. Streep? I''ve never seen her go all out like FD did.
- I was thinking about the wire hanger scene. I originally saw this movie in the theater and I didn''t remember it being so overblown (or rather I don''t remember the audience responding by laughing like they would at something campy.) So obviously there is a huge difference between watching it in a big theater and watching it on a tv/computer screen.
- Dennis Cunningham????? LOL.
- All this old stuff about the distant past! What about her now? So she has a good rent and keeps a flat in NYC and the landlord wants a tenant out so he can triple the rent. It has nothing to do with her being Faye Dunaway. What''s with more recent news? Back in a more recent day wasn''t she set to do a SUNSET BOULEVARD? Somewhere? And it didn''t work out but she got lots of money for being bought out? And didn''t she do a MASTER CLASS tour or put down somewhere, and then use her S.B. money to buy the film rights to MASTER CLASS? What''s with all that?
- According to Faye, she can''t be evicted because she already moved out. Apparently William Alfred gave her the apartment before he died. \
As for her finances, I think it''s well known that she has been in bad shape for some time. She poured a lot of money into buying the rights to Master Class, and that''s to say nothing of the money she''s now pumping into the production (which at this stage, might never be finished). Don''t know much about her penchant for such things in the 70s, but I heard that she had a drug problem in the 90s, and that she still has alcohol issues. \
Anyone here know if she was able to buy back the Golden Globe she pawned over Christmas?\
All of this aside, I admire Faye''s talent. As crazy, insane, and at times inhuman, as she can be, I keep rooting for her to get help and get her life back together.
- FD probably could have gotten a good tv role once the movies dried out for her but actresses of her stature and with her attitude and of that time likely never considered doing tv. It was beneath them--the thought was that once you go to tv, you can''t come back to the movies. \
She probably would have found amazing success on a tv show--look at what Stephanie Powers did with Hart to Hart, or all the old Hollywood royalty that wound up on Falcon Crest. Even Bette Davis had a co-starring role on Hotel! A good run on a tv series would have been wonderful for her. And I agree, she should just EMBRACE MD for crying out loud. It''s always been such a soar spot for her, but mostly because Diana Scarwid said she was a CUNT.
- My father is actually similar to JC/The Mommy Dearest Character: Treats people like shit, beat his kids and insulted them, accused us of being sluts and "fags" and ugly failures, then expects thank yous and public kudos. He also disinherited his children for "ungratefulness" (we all shrugged and he realized he''d played his last card, since he can''t beat us any more). I think both Joan and Faye would like him--he''s rich, handsome and a nasty piece of work. %0D\
Also, I saw Faye Dunaway speak before a showing of "Network" once--she was unintentionally fucking hilarious. Kept referring to her breakthrough film as "Bonnie". No mention of the other name at all.
Clyde, of course!
- I would KILL to see the cut scenes from. John Waters put the deleted scenes from Pink Flamingos on a special DVD release, so why can''t they do that with Mommie Dearest?\
And Diana Scarwid''s Balti-moron accent is jarring: "Helleww, Moa-mie?
- [quote] Did Mommie Dearest *really* ruin Faye Dunaway''s career?%0D\
Well I''m sure it didn''t help. When people make youtube "creations" like this out of your movie, it''s never a good sign.
Hold me, I''m scared!
- [quote]Remember Crawford herself gave ridiculous ludicrous performances later in her career...see Trog and Possessed for example.\
r131, Possessed was made in 1947. Hardly "later" in Joan''s career.
- How can anyone take this scene seriously??
- Faye Dunaway killed Faye Dunaway''s career all by herself without help from anyone or anything.
- "She probably would have found amazing success on a tv show"%0D\
Very true. And it''s not like someone hadn''t ever done it before.%0D\
--Angela Lansbury basking in her residuals for 12 seasons and 4 television movies of "Murder She Wrote" and still being offered Broadway shows
- Actually, Faye''s tried TV at least twice: %0D\
She had a sitcom with Robert Urich. An unfortunate bomb. I don''t recall much other than having been a teen gay in the making and loving it.%0D\
And wasn''t she a judge on some reality show? The Starlet or something?
- If you haven''t, then you simply MUST... all four aired episodes of Ms. Dunaway''s unfortunate sitcom from 1993 co-starring Robert Urich.
- Faye did an amazing job and was a fantastic actress. Even at 70 she was stunningly beautiful.
- She did a "Columbo" episode sometime in the early '90s & I though she was great. Held her own with Peter Falk & the two of them seemed to enjoy working together.
- Faye was on Grey's Anatomy a few years ago.
The character that she was working with was Cristina Yang...and they did everything except have her call Yang "Cristina."
She ain't lettin' that one go.
- She was also on CSI a couple years ago.
- [quote]Actually, Faye's tried TV at least twice: She had a sitcom with Robert Urich. An unfortunate bomb.
Faye wouldn't be suited to a sitcom. She needs a drama.
- [quote] She was also on CSI a couple years ago.
Such a believable corpse, too!
Or was that her dead career?
- Her teeth were not believable, unfortunately, as though she had been fitted with overlarge dentures.
- "Network" makes "Mommie Dearest" look like "Citizen Kane." "Network" is a terrible movie and it has not held up.'
Pauline, you are one dumb cunt. "Network" has held up only too well. Paddy Chayefsky must have been a psychic or something because that movie predicted the future of television with stunning accuracy.
- What's sad about Faye is that at 72 she stills honestly believes "Mommie Dearest" killed her career; she must have no self-awareness.
She seems like a sad, lonely woman who still lives in the past.
- [quote] She seems like a sad, lonely woman who still lives in the past.
Quick, someone send her a complimentary membership to Datalounge!
- [quote]Quick, someone send her a complimentary membership to Datalounge!
It'd have to be complimentary. I don't think her current finances would stretch to $18.
- Mommie plays like a parody of Hollywood bios and is only accidentally great, but it is great. I can't believe it hasn't been released on Bluray yet. They didn't skimp on the production design since they thought were making a classic, so it'll look fabulous in HD.
- Who else was up for the part?
Notstarring.com lists Anne Bancroft dropping out once she got the script.
- Faye Dunaway was always my first love before I discovered Jessica Lange. Jessica, hopefully, will be a prime example of great success with American Horror Story turned into roles back on the big screen. I still love Susan Sarandon, and Sally Field has proven to hold her own, but she was never a beauty girl like early Dunaway/Lange. I have been sick to death of Keaton for years! I really hope Dunaway's Maria Callas biopic is released. I am eagerly anticipating that, almost as much as Lange in Therwse which has early Oscar buzz. With this said, I love you all, even the terribly cruel people who have posted :_)
- It was really all downhill for her after Towering Inferno.
- [quote]Mommie plays like a parody of Hollywood bios and is only accidentally great, but it is great. I can't believe it hasn't been released on Bluray yet. They didn't skimp on the production design since they thought were making a classic, so it'll look fabulous in HD.
[quote]It was really all downhill for her after Towering Inferno.
"Network" was released two years later, for which she won an Oscar; after [italic]that[/italic] it was all downhill. "Mommie Dearest" was actually a peak on a sliding trajectory.
- No it didn't ruin her career.
- she had a bit part 20years ago as the dyke boss seduced by lara flynn boyle in 'the temp'
- Barfly is one of Dunaway's great performances, and that movie was made in 1987.
- she's a true bitch. she played that mommie dearest part a little too well. everyone knows it. enough said.
- Ryan Murphy should have got Dunaway for American Horror Story: Coven, rather than Patty Lapone.
- Do yourself a favor and see "Network" again. AMAZING movie, and Dunaway is quite good in it.
- Everyone knew Faye was a bitch to work with, I think she killed her own career.
- [quote]Everyone knew Faye was a bitch to work with, I think she killed her own career.Everyone knew Faye was a bitch to work with, I think she killed her own career.
Yes, but she'll probably go to her grave still blaming Frank Yablans.
- [quote]Ryan Murphy should have got Dunaway for American Horror Story: Coven, rather than Patty Lapone.
Have you read the script? Why would you cast an actress without even knowing what the part is?
R88 two old friends used to see her very early in the morning 2,3,4 am),shambling around the 24 hour Star Market (now gone),with Peter Wolf.
They lived upstairs in one of the Pudential Towers apts. (The Fairfield ?).
My friends mentioned this many times,that they were clearly stung-out,and nodding out,and oblivious. Also pushing a cart full of junk food like pints of Hagen Daz etc. It was common knowledge that she and Peter were heroin and coke users. At least among the people I knew at that time in Boston. I should also mention that my friends and I were also heavily into coke and other things at that time (early 80's).
- (Peter and Faye below, he looks like a drug-user.)
Everyone knows there was a huge amount of material cut from "Mommie Dearest" right?
- Faye's son, Liam, is quite good-looking:
- According to Raquel, there was discordance between her and Faye during the making of "The Three Musketeers".
- [quote] I would like to think that a lot of depth was lost in these edits
Think whatever you like.
- [quote]Think whatever you like.
What are you talking about, R194?
- Nobody will ever top that performance. Who else could have delivered all those famous lines with such ferocity? As bad as the movie is as a whole I can't think of another film that is as quoted as much.
- [quote]Nobody will ever top that performance. Who else could have delivered all those famous lines with such ferocity? As bad as the movie is as a whole I can't think of another film that is as quoted as much.
Yes. I don't know why it's become popular to trash Dunaway's inspiring performance. She [italic]is[/italic] Joan Crawford. It's one of, if not [italic]the[/italic] greatest performance in cinema. Anyone who thinks otherwise just doesn't understand it's greatness.
You can watch the scene below on mute and it still jumps off the screen. "Mommie Dearest" would've long been forgotten today if Anne Bancroft had have played Crawford. Dunaway made that movie and every line in it a quote. Dunaway left me in awe.
If anyone is looking for a bad performance in a biopic look no further than Judy Davis in "Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows".
- Faye's career was heading down the toilet when she accepted the part in "Mommie Dearest": she was the last "glamour queen" throwback left in Hollywood in the late 70s, which means during the late 60s and early 70s she got the kind of parts that had been written for Kim Novak or Elizabeth Taylor types that those women were too old to play. But she was getting long in the tooth herself in 1980. If you think of the major women's roles in the five years after "Mommie Dearest" there weren't a lot of parts for women 40-50 she would have realistically been able to play even had she not had the mockery that surrounded that film to deal with.
As others have said, she was also terribly difficult to deal with: she had a drug habit, and she also went out of her way to piss her directors and producers off.
- R166 I saw that Grey's Anatomy episode and didn't even think about that! You can imagine Shonda Rhimes going through the script and changing "Cristina" to "Yang" all the way through.
She was OK on Grey's but I know this is kind of an obvious thing to pick on but her over-surgeried face was very distracting. While surgery might hold back a few years and get some roles for a while, after a while it can probably stop being getting work as it's just not a realistic look for the mother/grandmother roles. A film like Meet the Fockers, Blythe Danner looks like that part. Faye Dunaway would have been distracting and especially filmed in all the soft focus she demands
- Faye is on Twitter. Her tweets are surprisingly sane:
- Agree she killed her own career, Mommie Dearest was just final blow.
- Rutanya Alda has just published her "Mommie Dearest" journals - she played JC's long-suffering assistant Carol Ann in the film. Rutanya appeared at the Castro Theater this weekend, and told many delightful stories!
Not to be too much of a spoiler, but it sounds as if FD gave everyone a run for their money during the making of that movie.
The late hairdressing legend Vivienne Walker left the set, refusing to ever work with "THAT DRUG ADDICT" again. Miss Dunaway rejected each of Vivienne's beautiful wigs, insisting that she wanted her hair to "look like Goldie Hawn's hair in 'Private Benjamin,'" so they brought in Kathryn Blondell.
Apparently the director had such a difficult time getting shots of Faye in the coffin for the funeral scene that by the time Carol Ann approached the coffin for her scene she had only a POLAROID of Faye in the coffin to play off of - and then they wouldn't let her keep the polaroid :-(
Of course, our first reaction to "Mommie Dearest" is to think that Joan Crawford must have been a MONSTER. With more knowledge and experience, however, one learns that Joan was supremely professional in her career and a great friend to those she loved...and many of her friends were G-A-Y (William Haines is a great example). Although she may not have been 'Mother of the Year,' the daughter whose name begins with the letter C comes off as a C-word, and the actress that portrayed "Mommie Dearest" sounds like the real monster in the story.
- My own theory is that her being pretty fucking nuts and demanding had a great deal to do with it as well. But all of that plus Mommy Dearest gave Hollywood cover to dump her.
- Think RE # 129 got it exactly right ,re MD. As I've said before about Dunaway, besides the bad on set behavior, her problem is vanity . Still trying to be sexy, and 'young', well into her 50's & 60's . The great advice Betty Davis gave Shirley MacLaine, when she was aging out of the cute, youthful parts, was go older. Go character roles. Play a mother. You'll work forever, once you let go of the vanity. And MacLaine has . Dunaway however , went the opposite, (other than "Barfly"), got those new, ridiculous choppers, too much plastic surgery, and now is viewed as freakish looking. Dunaway needs to follow the Helen Mirren model. Act your age, forget about looking good, and you may win respect .......and an Oscar, or two.
- [quote]Who cares the end result of Mommie Dearest was it is/was immensely entertaining. Isn't that all that matters?
Yes! How many other movies from 1981 are being quoted and enjoyed as much?!
- The only bad acting in "Mommie Dearest" came from the sometimes Southern, Diana Scarwid:
"Why did you adopt me?"
Were we supposed to feel sorry for Christina? I wanted Joan to hit her harder.
- Why must EVERYTHING be a CONTEST, R194?!
- Link to Faye's [italic]notstarring.com[/italic] profile below. I don't believe half of them, but this one was funny:
[quote]The Chase - Told she wasn't attractive enough for the role of Anna Reeves. Actor who got the part: Jane Fonda
- I thought Diana was really wooden also. One of my favorites is when after Joan is telling barbara she got expelled and she says "That's a lie". She whips her head around so fast I thought her wig would fly off.
- Got the Helen Mirren route? Have your tits virtually (or actually) spilling out of your top at nearly every opportunity?
- No, Diana's performance is camp funny in keeping with Faye's performance and it works.
- Dunaway's "issues," combined with her getting older, put her out to pasture. She was fragile to start with, and the substance use and star complex just carried her over into Impossible Cunt territory for any serious film work.
- this is the first I'm hearing of Faye and drugs but I'm kinda believing it, especially since she was with the J. Geils Band guy for years.
- I've always said that a parallel should exist between Dunaway's performance in 'Mommie Dearest' and Pacino in 'Scarface'. Both are embarrassing, scenery chewing abominations, yet Pacino was praised for being strong whereas the same ambitious performance by a woman was derided as being shrill.
- I love Mommie Dearest and actually think it's one of the truly great films, though clearly by accident. Perhaps they were aiming for stark drama, but it comes off as a surrealistic grand guignol piece. And there moments that are absolutely dazzling, both in terms of acting, direction, photography and editing.
In the lead-up to the bathroom scene, I love the way Dunaway plays it ("When I told you to call me that...I want you to mean it") and the way it's directed, shot and edited. It's dazzling.
- Faye, front and center:
- Faye is underrated.
- Her son is also on Twitter, and judging from his tweets, he seems a little "special" ...
- "network" already settled it that Faye could play a manipulative hard-boiled bitch if she wanted to
- Now that you mentioned the DWP R36, I think you might be on to something. M was good, but FD may have killed it!
- Question: does/did she naturally have Crawford's voice or did she use another vocal register for her performance in MD? I think that her voice performance is mighty impressive.
- Faye's performance was way, way over the top. It's just what the real Joan Crawford deserved.
- R208: that link says that Anne Bancroft was offered the role of Joan in Mommie Dearest, and turned it down after reading the screenplay.