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Bruce Vilanch

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With Love, Mommie Dearest
With Love, Mommie Dearest (3 Formats) ›
By A. Ashley Hoff, Foreword by Bruce Vilanch
Trade Paper Price 19.99

Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB

Published May 2024

When she died in 1977, Joan Crawford was remembered as an icon of Hollywood's Golden Age—until publication the following year of her daughter’s memoir, Mommie Dearest.

Christina Crawford’s book was an immediate bestseller, combining the infrequently discussed topic of child abuse with the draw of Hollywood drama.

But when Paramount Pictures released the film version, starring Faye Dunaway as Crawford, it was panned, and it remains one of the most legendary critical bombs in film history. The lavish, big-screen adaptation drew unexpected laughter for its over the top the scenes depicting life in the Crawford household. Rarely have such good intentions been met with such ridicule.

Despite this, the movie was a commercial success and remains, four decades later, immensely popular as an unintentional camp classic. Based on new interviews with people connected to the book and the film—from cast and crew members to industry insiders—With Love, Mommie Dearest details the writing and selling of Christina's book and the aftermath of its publication, as well as the filming of the motion picture, whose backstage drama almost surpassed what was viewed on-screen in the film.

Hollywood historian A. Ashley Hoff explores the phenomenon, the camp, and the very real social issues addressed by the book and film.