MOMMIE DEAREST by Christina Crawford

MOMMIE DEAREST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From her throne in the eye of the hurricane, brandishing her magic wand of obsession, ruled the queen of chaos herself: Mommie dearest."" No one will ever accuse the eldest of Joan Crawford's adopted children, Christina, of poetry; even less likely is an accusation of objectivity, for this account is as obsessed as its subject. Many of the ""gotta tell it or bust"" revelations are ugly enough to titillate even the most seasoned Hollywood cynic. As a young child, Christina was the recipient of frequent brutal spankings, humiliation (she was forced to wear a completely shredded dress for a week), and exploitation (""She got years of prime publicity out of us""). At the age of ten she was sent to a boarding school; ""Mommie dearest"" would call every week and badger the school into divulging the slightest infringement, then would punish Christina severely (""Insensitive, cruel, monstrous bitch!""). ""Morainic"" even got so frustrated with her teenage daughter that at one point she attempted to choke her to death (""She leaped off the counter and grabbed for my throat like a mad dog"") and then tried to have her committed to Juvenile Hall as an ""incorrigible."" Locked up in a mountaintop convent for months at a time, Christina grew more and more bitter; finally she went to college, became an actress (an aging, alcoholic ""Mommie dearest"" supposedly torpedoed her career), weathered several years of partial reconciliation with the chillingly bizarre movie queen, and--voila! ""Mommie"" was dead in 1977. A widely publicized will disinherited an astounded Christina and her brother ""for reasons well known to them."" Unfortunately, the rush into print looks like a childish return slap to the grave.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow