Growing up with a sister like mine, I was subjected to a lot of, let’s just say “interesting” movie choices. Whether it was being locked in the basement to watch Body Language, or having Christmas movies be such as 1981’s Mommie Dearest, which afterwards she would make my mother dress up as Joan herself and recite lines from the movie. Scarring my childhood just a little bit more, thank you Emily. So when I learned that “the most beautiful house in Brentwood” was a bit on my way to work, it was a destiny.
For this classic movie, it was based on the book written by Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina. Joan figured that she had a void in her life that needed to be filled and it could only be done so by adopting children. However, Miss Joan wasn’t entirely secure emotionally in her life to accommodate such precious little ones. Her addiction to alcohol, men, and the pressures of show business tended to get in the way of her personal life. Basically, she became a hot mess.
Joan was mentally abusive to both Christina and her brother Christopher who had to struggle in silence behind the massive doors of this Brentwood estate. In the memoir, Christina claimed that her mother was more concerned and obsessed with her movie career than the welfare of her own children. She also hinted that her mother most likely adopted them for publicity than true love.
According to Christina, Joan had quite the little black book. Dating several men and some ladies even. When the men were around, Christina and Christopher were required to call them “Uncle” and occasionally “Daddy”. Seriously Joan?
My favorite part, however, would have to be that Christina was actually adopted from a “baby broker” out of the state of Nevada, because originally Joan tried to adopted from California, but Social Services claimed that she was an ‘unfit’ candidate. Gotta love Nevada.
Side note: this is just the front exterior location for the movie, it was not actually the Crawford residence.
Check it out: The Mommie Dearest house is located at 417 Amapola Lane in Bel Air. (it’s right near the Fresh Prince house too!)