Sunday, September 20, 2015
Beaverhausen Book Nook: The Mommie Dearest Diary ~ Carol Ann Tells All
Rutanya describes a very chaotic set and shoot. She quotes sources and strongly implies Dunaway had a substance abuse problem at this time. She cites people in the film industry, like Bette Davis and Roman Polanski, discussing their own difficulties working with the tempestuous star. Dunaway has accused Mommie Dearest of ruining her career but, clearly, it was her own reputation to blame.
Ms Alda recalls emigrating from Latvia to the USA as a child and of her own physical and emotional childhood abuse by her mother. She also recalls meeting the real Joan Crawford on the set of Rosemary's Baby where she was Mia Farrow's stand-in.
The book has a lot of off-topic padding as well as unnecessary diary entries, like "Friday, January 23 (No entry)," for instance. However, when it gets to the meat of the matter, Carol Ann indeed tells all in juicy, delicious detail: Faye's on- and off-the-set discord with Diana Scarwid (the teen & adult Christina); director Frank Perry's weaknesses as a director kowtowing to his star's whims; veteran technical people quitting the making of the movie; how Faye stole her role from under Anne Bancroft's nose; Faye carelessly cutting into child actress Mara Hobel's flesh during the haircut scene; Faye Dunaway insisting on eight takes of slapping Caol Ann (rehearsing for Mildred Pierce), once so hard as to leave an imprint on her co-star's face; and much more.
Everything considered, I can only recommend this book to die-hard fans of the film and avid readers of behind-the-scenes Hollywood memoirs.
Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.