The performances however, surrounded by a dose of cheese or not, are quite extraordinary indeed. Dunaway, who is a complete fool for distancing herself from this work, is possessed with the spirit of Crawford and the overall performance is truly inspired. We can forgive those moments of over-the-top unbelievability, because of the solid work she brings out as well. Scarwid, who is burned in my brain from this film, is young and raw, giving such a compelling take on the material that it’s a shame she never got the bigger roles later on. (Though loved her in PSYCHO 3!) And my heart goes out to Mara Hobel, who played the younger, most taunted and tortured version of Christina. Her work is way too real and I wouldn’t be surprised if her life was severely scared by the film. (Maybe watching it was fun for some, but not me!) See, I’m not like those hard-core fans of MOMMIE DEAREST, who can watch it over and over again; I would never want to watch this film more than once. And while that may seem like an insult, it’s actually the highest compliment I could give MOMMIE DEAREST; yeah, alright, I’ll admit it, she scares me.
Commentary (with Director – Not Of This Film – John Waters): For a film where the Director has passed away and the lead, in this case Dunaway, refuses to talk about the film, the makers of this DVD took a rather unique and original gamble by bringing on the quirky John Waters to do a full length commentary – a gamble that ultimately pays off nicely. Waters is not shy (as we fans already know!) and he calls it like he sees it. He dishes the dirt, even bridging the fact that Kathleen Turner did the very ice mask trick for real that Dunaway did in the film. He also opens up about his own childhood, proclaiming that he, like one of the characters in the film, wore an ascot in the 7th Grade and got beat up! Hell, even his throw away bits (“wish I had that in my closet” and “that outfit is very Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm!”) are priceless; he’s the ultimate Fanboy, but a funny Fanboy and he certainly makes up for the lack of what fans really wanted to see in this edition – the Dunaway!
The Revival of Joan (14:13): The players for this and all three of this disc's mini-docs, Producer Frank Yablans, Actress Rutanya Alda and Actress Diana Scarwid, talk about getting the film to the screen. Most interesting tidbit – Yablans had originally wanted Anne Bancroft to do the role of Joan Crawford!
Life With Joan (13:43): Shows a very interesting addition to the opening that was never seen. Plus the dirt gets dished a little more here, it’s getting better! (But guys at Paramount, stop shamelessly plugging the real Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar just because Paramount owns it!)
Joan Lives On (16:03): The best of the three, with John Waters chiming in to lighten things up! (Says Waters Of Joan – the film “didn’t change my opinion, but my values are a little twisted!”) John even talks for the fans, stating he doesn’t know why Dunaway won’t talk about the film and she should “lighten up!” In fact, everyone here speculates why Dunaway won’t discuss the film, and it’s the next best thing to having Dunaway talk herself! Throw in a scary male Joan Crawford impersonator and you got the goods! As put by Waters, “if you like movie stars and monster movies…” (No more Johnny Guitar, stop the madness!)
Plus there is also a Photo Gallery and an original Theatrical Trailer with Previews for FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF – BUELLER…BUELLER EDITION, REDS SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION (aren’t they all!), TITANIC 3-DISC SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION, and something called THE PRACTICALLY TRUE , ALMOST FACTUAL SORTA ACCURATE CHRONICLES OF GAY HISTORY. (Couldn’t tell if this was a gag or what?!)