No Wire Hangers! Mothers in the Movies

Time movie critic Richard Corliss looks at how mothers have been portrayed on the screen. Mom in the Movies: The Iconic Screen Mothers You Love (and a Few You Love to Hate) is his fully illustrated book about how Hollywood has celebrated, vilified and otherwise memorialized dear old Mom. He writes about the Criminal Moms, like Shelley Winters in “Bloody Mama,” and the eccentric Showbiz Moms from “Gypsy” and “Postcards from the Edge.” In addition to Great American Moms there are plenty of frightening mothers, like Angela Lansbury in “The Manchurian Candidate” and Faye Dunaway playing the terrifying Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest.”

Don Draper from AMC's "Mad Men", pushing his son, Bobby, on a swing
Don Draper from AMC's "Mad Men", pushing his son, Bobby, on a swing

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( AMC )
Myrna Loy in "Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House," 1948. Myrna Loy leads husband Cary Grant and daughters Connie Marshall and Sharyn Moffett to their new country estate.
Myrna Loy in "Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House," 1948. Myrna Loy leads husband Cary Grant and daughters Connie Marshall and Sharyn Moffett to their new country estate.

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( Courtesy Turner Theatrical Library )
Jane Darwell in "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940. Ma Joad (Jane Darwell) leads her family (Henry Fonda, Russell Simpson, Doris Bowden seated in the rear) to California, the land of broken promises.
Jane Darwell in "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940. Ma Joad (Jane Darwell) leads her family (Henry Fonda, Russell Simpson, Doris Bowden seated in the rear) to California, the land of broken promises.

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( Courtesy Turner Theatrical Library )
Mary Astor in "Meet Me in St. Louis," 1944. Mary Astor and husband, Leon Ames, sing a song at Christmas, attended by daughter Margaret O'Brien.
Mary Astor in "Meet Me in St. Louis," 1944. Mary Astor and husband, Leon Ames, sing a song at Christmas, attended by daughter Margaret O'Brien.

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( Courtesy Turner Theatrical Library )
Joan Crawford in "Mildred Pierce," 1945. Joan Crawford slaves her way to success for her thankless child, Ann Blyth.
Joan Crawford in "Mildred Pierce," 1945. Joan Crawford slaves her way to success for her thankless child, Ann Blyth.

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( Courtesy Turner Theatrical Library )
Greer Garson in "Mrs. Miniver," 1942. Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon clutch their children (Christopher Severn and Clare Sanders) during an air raid.
Greer Garson in "Mrs. Miniver," 1942. Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon clutch their children (Christopher Severn and Clare Sanders) during an air raid.

From Mom in the Movies, but Richard Corliss, published by Simon & Schuster and Turner Classic Movies.

( Courtesy Turner Theatrical Library )
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