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The worst movie mothers of all time

Updated: April 11, 2011 09:50 AM EDT
Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford was one of the worst movie mothers ... but was she THE worst?(© Paramount) Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford was one of the worst movie mothers ... but was she THE worst?(© Paramount)


By Barry Abisch
Provided by WorldNow

It is not your fault you take your mother for granted.  After all, she's Mom. And she's always done that Mom stuff for you, because that's what Moms do. 

But would it hurt to say "thank you" once in a blue moon? No wonder Mom feels unappreciated, or underappreciated.

What you need is a lesson in bad mothering. So let's go to the movies. Crank up those DVDs, sit back and count down the 10 worst movie mothers of all time. (Hey, use a coaster! And wipe your popcorn fingers on a napkin, not on the sofa! Mom's got enough to do without you making more work for her.)

10 - Beverly Sutphin

A case can be made that Serial Mom Beverly Sutphin does not belong on the list, because  she is an exceptionally devoted mother.  But it is possible to carry devotion too far, and whacking a guy for breaking a date with your daughter most definitely qualifies. Face it: a woman can't be a good Mom if she's a bad person, so Beverly Sutphin, who was played by Kathleen Turner, merits a spot on our list.

9 - Ma Fratelli

What kind of Mom would punish her kid for being gentle and kind, chaining him to the wall so he can't interfere with her nefarious criminal undertakings? Probably the same kind of Mom who would name the kid Sloth.  Ann Ramsey gets the first of her two spots on our list, portraying the horrible Ma Fratelli in The Goonies

8 - Rose Hovik

Rose Hovik only wants what's best for her daughters -- so long as it is best for her, too.  And if that means her younger daughter has to dance nearly naked on the vaudeville stage, so be it. Rosalind Russell won a Golden Globe for her performance as stage mother Mama Rose in the 1963 screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, Gypsy.

7 - Lady Tremaine

If stepmothers get a bad rap, they can blame Lady Tremaine, the prototypical evil stepmother in the Walt Disney cartoon classic, Cinderella.  It's one thing to force your daughter to scrub the floor on hands and knees, but to make her do it while wearing rags is positively medieval!

6 - Rose-Ann D'Arcy

Not only is Rose-Ann D'Arcy a generally obnoxious Mom, but she's also an unrepentant racist with not an iota of concern for her daughter's happiness.  Shelly Winters won an Oscar for her portrayal of D'Arcy in the 1965 film, A Patch of Blue.  Winters may be an award winner, but Mother D'Arcy is a total loser.

5 - Lilly Dillon

Lilly Dillon may actually care about her son, but in the end she's all about the money, which she gets while son Roy gets dead. Lilly was played by Anjelica Huston in The Grifters, garnering Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for her performance.

4 - Joan Crawford

What's chilling about Joan Crawford is that she did not emerge from a screen-writer's imagination. She's the real deal, an actual, bonafide crummy Mom who always seems to know what's worst for her daughter. (And there is nothing worse than a wire coat hanger!) And speaking of worst, Faye Dunaway won a Razzie award as the worst actress of 1981 for her performance as Crawford in Mommie Dearest, based on a memoir penned by Crawford's daughter.

3 - Mrs. Lift

She's baaacck! Ann Ramsey garners her second mention on our list, securing the No. 3 position as Mrs. Lift in Throw Momma From the Train. When her son, Owen, conspires to have his mother murdered, most moviegoers probably think it's a good idea. Mrs. Lift is that bad.

2 - Eleanor Shaw

Angela Lansbury gives a chilling performance as Eleanor Shaw in the original film version of The Manchurian Candidate.  Here's a Mom willing to sacrifice everything for a cause - even if it means doing away with her own son.  Lansbury was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe.

1 - Norma Bates

Norma Bates rates the top spot on just about every list of the worst mothers of all times, even though her portrayal in the Alfred Hitchock thriller Psycho comes across a bit stiff. Of course, her son, Norman, is nobody to write home about, either. If you want a good mother, be a good son. Or daughter.

So there you have it. Ten mothers you should be glad your Mom isn't.

Are you feeling a bit guilty? Good. You deserve it.

Now take your feet off the coffee table, go give Mom a hug and plant a wet one right on her cheek.

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