Director: Frank Perry
Cast: Faye Dunaway, Steve Forrest, Diana Scarwid
Release Date: June 1, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The endlessly quotable cult-classic celebrates 40 years with this debut on Blu-ray, restored from a new 4K film transfer and packed with all-new special features. Based on Christina Crawford’s controversial best-selling tell-all novel, MOMMMIE DEAREST features a powerhouse performance by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, struggling for her career while battling the inner demons of her private life. While the public Crawford was a strong-willed, glamorous object of admiration, behind-the-scenes is a private Crawford—the woman desperate to be a single-mother and trying to survive in a devastating industry that swallows careers thoughtlessly.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
You can also check out our reviews for the other releases in the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line by clicking on each title below!
The fan favorite cult classic ‘Mommie Dearest’ follows the personal and professional life of film star Joan Crawford as her career begins to struggle and she decides the one thing missing in her life is children. Unable to have children of her own, Joan enlists the help of a friend to use his influence in order to help her adopt. Still fighting to reignite her career while every intended step forward seems to result in a step backwards, the film follows her troubled progression and shows the drastically different sides of her beloved public personae and the more bitter and angry reality of her world at home, largely seen through the eyes of her daughter whose own life becomes problematic as she grows up and struggles to find herself and escape the shadow of her overbearing mother.
The 1981 cult classic ‘Mommie Dearest’ debuts on Blu-ray freshly remastered as the seventeenth entry in Paramount Home Entertainment’s ongoing lineup of Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases which showcase various film favorites from the studio’s expansive decades-spanning library, each sporting newly remastered high definition video presentations along with collectible artwork and some extras both new and old. ‘Mommie Dearest’ makes for another welcome entry in the lineup and arrives on Blu-ray with a gorgeous new high definition video presentation remastered from a 4K film transfer and paired with a nice DTS-HD MA multichannel soundtrack plus a solid collection of bonus material featuring some brand new extras new to this release. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary, ‘Mommie Dearest’ is one of those curious cult classics that is played out with the seeming intention of being dramatic, yet so much of the over the top acting and (likely unintentional) hilarious one liners tend to only make that less of a reality, not to mention plenty of moments that frequently steer it into the realm of goofy and ridiculous. The film remains a well-known staple of cult cinema and Faye Dunaway’s dedicated performance still remains a taboo topic for the actress. Nonetheless, even with its ridiculous moments and unavoidably hilarious traits, it’s a beloved film that still retains a dedicated fan base and many of those fans should be quite thrilled with this great new Blu-ray release which definitely impresses in most respects.
Overall, this new ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of the 1981 cult classic ‘Mommie Dearest’ brings the Faye Dunaway led film home on Blu-ray with a wonderful new high definition video presentation from a new 4K film transfer which is further complimented by a more than acceptable 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack, plus some notable extras including some brand new bonus material new to this release, and of course the collectible packaging featured on each of the Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases. Dedicated fans of this memorable 1980’s classic should be largely thrilled with this great new Blu-ray release of the film and it’s definitely recommended for anyone that’s already considering a purchase. Those who have never had the pleasure of this one but have always been curious about it likely won’t find a better quality presentation in which to enjoy it for the first time either.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Mommie Dearest’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, from a new 4K film transfer for its 40th anniversary. This newly remastered video presentation is another impressive offering in line with many of the other recent ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases. It delivers a smooth, nicely textured and detailed presentation from start to finish that’s rich with grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source material and never suffers from any unexpected problems or troubles along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the darkly lit and heavily populated moments, always looking gorgeous throughout. Overall, this is a fantastic new high definition video presentation that should easily thrill the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (as well as a Restored Mono option). The multichannel soundtrack option offers a clean, crisp and nicely balanced audio presentation throughout. As expected, it doesn’t offer a wealth of surround activity and keeps much of the key audio content centered, although it does utilize all five available channels throughout in order to send some music, nature elements and other tidbits throughout the various speakers when appropriate, while always making certain that any dialogue and other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray release of ‘Mommie Dearest’ includes the standard collectible packaging featured on each of the Limited Edition ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray releases featuring a slipcase that opens up to showcase a large version of the original theatrical poster, plus photos on the inside slip of the interior Blu-ray case (you can check out a beauty shot of the artwork from the studio included at the bottom of the review for a look inside). The disc itself also includes a few nice extras both new and old including ‘2 Audio Commentaries’; the first of which is an ‘Audio Commentary with American Drag Queen Hedda Lettuce’ and the second an archival ‘Audio Commentary with John Waters’. Also included on the release is ‘Filmmaker Focus: Biographer Justin Bozung on Director Frank Perry’ (running approximately 7 minutes in length) along with a handful of previously released Featurettes including ‘The Revival of Joan’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Life with Joan’ (approximately 14 minutes), and ‘Joan Lives On’ (16 minutes). A ‘Photo Gallery’ and the film’s ‘Original Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 4 minutes) are also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The Cult Classic ‘Mommie Dearest’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray; Newly Remastered as part of the ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray line from Paramount Home Entertainment
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