Worst Movie Moms We're Glad Aren't Ours

Real Style on 04.12.11
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The Real Joan Crawford
Image Credit: The Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

Yesterday, we brought you our list of the best movie moms. (If you missed it, you can catch it here.) And it's only fair that we pay homage to the most dastardly moms in film, too. Once again, this list only scratches the surface of all the bad mamas in movies. So, in no particular order, let's talk about some of the cruelest, meanest, and most evil movie moms to hit the big screen.

Spoiler Alert: There are a few plot points given away here. If you haven't seen one of the movies and want to, skip to the next entry.

Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)

Based on the novel of the same name written by Joan Crawford's daughter, Christina, Mommie Dearest is the story of what Hollywood, alcohol, and a plethora of men can do to one's mental state. Faye Dunaway portrays the elder Crawford and is 100 percent menacing in her role. Major Mom Mishap: The story is filled with examples of the mental (and sometimes physical) abuse that Christina and her brother Christopher received at the hands of their mother, but the most famous tantrum of all had to do with the simple act of hanging up a $300 dress properly. "No...wire...hangers! What's wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER?"

Norma Bates (Psycho)

House in Psycho
Image Credit: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Voiced by Virginia Gregg, only Bates' corpse is seen in the movie, as her son Noman killed her and subsequently assumed her identity when killing others. Major Mom Mishap: The mother of all over-protective mothers, Bates raises her son in near isolation telling him that women are evil (except her, of course) and sex is a dirty thing.

Mary (Precious)

Scene from Precious
Image Credit: HO/Reuters/Corbis

Mo'Nique took on the award-winning role of Mary, mother of Precious. Mary was physically, mentally, and sexually abusive towards her daughter, and she also sat by while Precious' father sexually abused her as well, resulting in the birth of two children. Major Mom Mishap: There doesn't seem to be anything redeeming about Mary throughout the entire movie, but the last straw for Precious comes when Mary drops her youngest grandson (only three days old) on purpose and then begins to physically abuse Precious yet again.

Corrinne Dollanganger (Flowers in the Attic)

After the death of her husband, Corrinne Dollanganger (played by Victoria Tennant) takes her children back to her childhood home where they learn that their parents were related by blood and their grandparents are incredibly wealthy. With promises of great wealth and privilege in the future if they're kept secret now, the children are placed in a hidden attic until their grandfather's death, so he will never know of their existence. Major Mom Mishap: Upon hearing her father's will after his death, Dollanganger learns that if she ever has had or will have children, then she would lose the entire inheritance. The next day, she began giving arsenic-laced food to her children in the hopes of killing them.

Margaret White (Carrie)

Scene from Carrie
Image Credit: John Springer Collection/Corbis

Piper Laurie plays Margaret White, the abusive single mother to a teenage daughter named Carrie, who has special powers that ignite when she's angry. White is incredibly religious and believes Carrie is full of sin. Instead of walking her daughter through the major milestone of her first period, she tells her that God is punishing her. Major Mom Mishap: When Carrie comes home from the disastrous prom, White acts like the caring, doting mother by helping her into a bath and soothing her hysterical daughter. In fact, White believed that her daughter was taken by the devil, so she stabs her in the back trying to kill her.

Other Menacing Moms That Need a Shout-Out:


Beverly Sutphin (Serial Mom)
Vivi Walker (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
Mrs. Lift (Throw Momma From the Train)
Mama Fratelli (The Goonies)
Maria Teresa (Marie Antoinette)
Erica Sayers (Black Swan)
Mrs. Lisbon (The Virgin Suicides)
Mrs. Ida Lowry (Brazil)
Kevin's Mother (Time Bandits)
Rose Hovick (Gypsy)
Pamela Voorhies (Friday the 13th)
Marietta Fortune (Wild at Heart)
Annette Atkins (Drop Dead Gorgeous)

Did we get it right, or did we leave your most feared mom off the list? Let us know who you think takes the cake for mean moms in the comments below.

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