Not to be outdone, while there are a lot of bad movie fathers out there in cinema, mothers could be just as bad. Just because women were biologically created to bear children for 9 months doesn’t mean they’re any better parents. Yet, we tend to be more shocked by bad mothering simply because we kind of expect more from moms than dads. In fact, it’s possible for a man to be a dad and not even know it. Yet, this is mostly due to sexism, double standards, and all the lurid stories on the news that pertain to crime and abuse. You know, sensationalism. However, when it comes to movies, let’s say that the moms are just as bad even if their activities tend to be more horrifying. Still, while we have women like Mrs. Gump, Mrs. Weasley, Mildred Pierce, and Mrs. Miniver, there are also a lot of movie moms who’ve made their kids’ lives such a living hell that you’d probably not want to send flowers to them. Nevertheless, for those who’ve grown up with a mom who’s constantly told you to clean your room, do the dishes, take out the garbage, and eat your vegetables as well as sometimes embarrassed you with giving you a set of pink bunny pajamas for Christmas, remember you could have to deal with moms as bad as these movie ones I list here. Also, includes stepmothers as well. So without further adieu, here is a list of monstrous movie matriarchs, you’d be glad not to have. And if you are a mom, at least it would make you happier about your parenting skills.
1. The Wicked Queen
From: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Problem: Disney isn’t well known for its share of great parents (at least ones who don’t actually die in the middle of the movie). I mean there’s a lot of incompetent dads like the Sultan and Maurice as well as evil stepmothers. And as far as evil stepmothers go, I have to give that honor to the wicked queen. This woman basically puts a hit on Snow White all because she upstaged her on the Magic Mirror’s list of the Fairest One of All. I mean she sends a huntsman to rip out her heart and put it in a box as well as gave her stepdaughter a poisoned apple that put her into a deep sleep that could only be broken through sexual assault. All because of the Wicked Queen being jealous of her looks and upset about aging. Look, sister, I’d totally understand you wanting to knock off Snow White since she’ll soon reach the age of maturity and rule on her own (assuming your husband is dead), which will put you out of a job as regent and I’m sure you really enjoy the post. Then again, it’s not like she’ll be prepared for it since you made her spend a lot of her time in rags scrubbing the castle sidewalk. However, wanting to kill your stepdaughter just because a magic mirror said she was hotter than you is just fucking stupid! Look, if a magic mirror told me that I was no longer the Fairest One of All, I’d just book that Magic Mirror on the Wall an appointment with Mr. Sledgehammer. Seriously, even if you do kill Snow White, the mirror would probably name some other woman the Fairest One of All. Not worth it.
2. Joan Crawford
From: Mommie Dearest
The Problem: Now this movie is based on a memoir by Joan’s daughter Christina who might not have presented an accurate portrait of her adoptive mother, which has been hotly contested by Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, a few of her biographers, her two younger daughters, and three of her ex-husbands. Still, it didn’t stop the legendary star from Mildred Pierce to have her public reputation ultimately destroyed. Nevertheless, while Joan desperately wants children for the sake of the publicity, she’s a control freak out of control. At one moment, she’s lavishing luxuries, only to take them away the next. She also fosters constant competition, chops Christina’s hair like a madwoman, and beating her child with a wire hanger (for hanging a dress with one). Oh, and though she screams about wanting a spotless house, she’s willing to destroy rooms just to make them clean up. Not to mention, she strapped Christopher to his bed in order to keep him from jerking off. Now that is one crazy bitch! So who the hell did her background check at the adoption agency?
3. Mrs. Windle Vale
From: Now, Voyager
The Problem: Now Mrs. Vale has raised her daughter Charlotte to be her lifelong companion as well as do whatever she says whether it means where to spend her time, what she reads, or how to dress. And she’s been trying to control and socially isolate Charlotte since she’d tried to run off with that sailor, basically preventing her daughter from having her own life. Not to mention, she has to be constantly reminded that her mom had her in her 40s and still sees her as an unwanted child. Unsurprisingly this drives Charlotte into a nervous breakdown that Dr. Jacquith has to get her to his sanitorium for depressed rich people. Of course, after rehab, a cruise, an extramarital affair, and a Dior wardrobe, Charlotte blossoms into a new woman, but her mother is just as determined to destroy her little girl once more. And even when Charlotte basically sticks up for herself, Mrs. Vale always tries to pull any deliberate stunt to guilt her, even falling down the stairs. Yet, all throughout Mrs. Vale always seems to take pleasuring in torment her daughter. What a bitch.
4. Deirdre Burroughs
From: Running with Scissors
The Problem: While Joan Crawford’s parenting skills can be debated, you can’t really say the same for Augusten Burroughs’ mother. Sure he’d grow up to be a famous author but still, he had a terrible childhood. His father, Norman is an alcoholic and absentee. Yet, it’s his mother, Deirdre who really makes things hell for him with her severe mood swings and erratic behavior as well as a conviction that the rest of the world is slightly dumber and less deserving of attention and praise. By the time Augusten hits puberty, he no longer feels safe because of his folks and it’s his mother who thinks her husband is out to kill her. Nevertheless, when his parents split and too obsessed with her own problems, she sends him to the house of her shrink and his eccentric family (as well as has a relationship with a schizo man in his 30s) as well as a room called a, “masturbatorium.” Still, as Deirdre becomes more mentally unsound, Augusten thinks she no longer wants him. Great mother for any aspiring writer looking for material, but puts children at a high risk therapy future. Also, it says a lot about Deirdre that while Augusten managed to reconcile with his dad, he’s still estranged from his mom to this day.
5. Margaret White
The Problem: From the pages of Stephen King, Margaret White is certainly the worst mother any high school girl could have, even by the standards of most Christian Fundamentalists. Now puberty is tough for any teenage girl, but if your mother is the kind of scary religious nutjob Carrie has, then well, you might as just run away from home. Seems like Margaret really missed the memo that all little girls grow up and basically views anything a girl experiences during adolescence as sinful. This doesn’t help that she fervently believes that all sex is sinful even within marriage and has no problem abusing Carrie in the name of God, even if it means harming herself to get her to obey as well as quoting from Bible verses that don’t really exist. Have period in the showers? Tell her she started due to sinning and drag her kicking and screaming to a Christian effigy to beg forgiveness. Go on first date? Throw burning tea into Carrie’s face and tell her she’s dirty? And when Carrie makes her own prom dress, Margaret insist she burn it and pray for forgiveness because the color red is sinful. Also, zap her with telekinetic powers? Margaret will call you a witch, denounce you as Satan spawn, and try to kill you. Is it any wonder that Carrie goes nuts with her supernatural powers and blows up the school during prom?
6. Mrs. Bates
The Problem: Well, she’s technically dead by the time the movie begins, but let’s just say she and Norman had a very twisted relationship, which was in no way healthy for either of them. Of course, Mrs. Bates’ overbearing personality and verbal abuse took a great toll on Norman who became attached to her in a very unhealthy way (guess social isolation is at play). Not to mention, she filled his head with how evil and sinful other women are, which explains why he murdered Marion Crane in the shower (because he was sexually attracted to her). Still, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Mrs. Bates was murdered by her son when she got a boyfriend (out of fear he was being replaced). Yet, this doesn’t stop her from abusing Norman in his head from well beyond the grave or as the corpse hiding in the cellar that is. “A boy’s best friend is his mother” indeed.
7. Beth Jarrett
From: Ordinary People
The Problem: When it comes to mourning a dead child, it can be especially tough for families. Yet, despite being played by Mary Tyler Moore, Beth is hardly a source of support for her surviving son Conrad after her favorite son Buck drowns during a boating accident. Now since Conrad was with his brother at the time, he’s understandably messed up to the point where he tries to kill himself. By the time the movie begins, he’s been released from a psychiatric hospital and has started attending therapy with Dr. Berger working to help him come out of the emotional shell he’s constructed. Conrad’s father Calvin tries to make his son happy and eventually sees Dr. Berger himself. Yet, Beth doesn’t and is still tied up with Buck who was always her favorite son but she’d rather deny her loss as well as maintain her composure and restore the family to it once was. In fact, instead of helping her son heal, she remains cold and unaffectionate. And it’s later found out, during the Christmas scenes that Beth never visited Conrad while he was in the hospital as well as would rather spend the holidays without him. Still, it comes to the point in which even Calvin is questioning whether Beth loved him or is incapable of loving anyone. In some ways, you wonder if Beth wishes that Conrad died in that boating accident instead, which really makes me cringe.
8. Rose-Ann D’Arcey
From: A Patch of Blue
The Problem: Shelley Winters has made a career of playing bad mothers as well as women who’ve endured their share of abuse. Yet, she won a second Oscar for Supporting Actress by playing this monster of a mother who’d make Cinderella’s stepmother seem like June Cleaver in comparison. Sure Rose-Ann is a prostitute and an alcoholic who keeps her teenage blind daughter Selina in almost total social isolation that she has no friends and has never received an education. During the day, Selina just does housework and strings beads for supplemental income with her only pleasure of spending a day in the park if she’s lucky. Now Rose-Ann is just as demeaning as she’s abusive and selfish. She thinks nothing of her daughter’s welfare and sees no problem forcing her to follow in her footsteps. Yet, Rose-Ann was also responsible for throwing chemicals in Selina’s face in the first place while attempting to hit her husband (which left Selina blind yet Rose-Ann blames her). However, the worst thing about her is that when Selina was raped by one of her clients, an incident that forced Rose-Ann to rent a second room for her business. But what makes it really bad is that she blames her daughter for the trouble it caused her.
9. Mary Lee Johnston
The Problem: Where do I begin? Of course, this is a role that earned Mo’Nique the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Now while Precious’ father is a real piece of shit who repeatedly raped and impregnated her twice as well as gave her AIDS, he’s not nearly as memorable as Mary. Of course, Mary is just as bad since with her abuse ranging from the physical to the emotional, “You’re a dummy, bitch! You will never know shit! Don’t nobody want you, don’t nobody need you!” As for Precious being raped by her father and having two kids to him, well, Mary just does nothing to protect her, blames her daughter for the lot, and refers her as, “the other woman.” And while Precious tries to make a better life for herself, she’s there to dash any and all hope. This isn’t a mother, but a straight up monster beyond all description.
10. Beverly R. Sutphin
From: Serial Mom
The Problem: Unlike most of the mothers on this list, Beverly doesn’t really do anything terrible to her kids and seems like a standard 1950s suburban housewife on the surface. Yet, underneath the Stepford wife façade she’s a serial killer knocking off anyone who gets in her way, sometimes over the most trivial and perceived slights. Son’s math teacher berating your parenting as well as questions your son’s health and family life? Run him over with your car. Daughter gets stood up by her date for another girl? Kill him in the bathroom with a fire poker at the local flea market. Husband gets called away to treat a patient’s chronic toothache? Stab his wife with scissors you borrow from a neighbor and cause the air conditioner to fall on said patient. Local woman calls your son, “son of a psycho?” Follow her home and bludgeon her to death with a leg of lamb while singing along to the victim’s rented copy of Annie. Get caught by her neighbor? Chase him with your car, catch him at the local club, and set him aflame. Neighbor steals your parking space? Send a series of obscene phone calls. Wear white shoes after Labor Day? Follow victim to pay phone and fatally strike her on the head with a receiver. Now I guess she’s not setting a good example for her kids, isn’t she? Kind of makes Dexter seem like, “Father of the Year.” Movie based on an urban legend, by the way.
From: The Hangover
The Problem: Now I don’t think Jade being a stripper or prostitute in Las Vegas makes her a bad mother. After all, there are plenty of moms in the “adult” entertainment business who are just trying to provide for their kids. However, what puts her on the list is that she took her baby to work with her during a boozy night and left him in a hotel room with three drunken idiots and a tiger. Of course, what gets me is that this woman’s son was missing for hours yet, she seems to take her baby’s disappearance remarkably calm. I mean there’s nothing to suggest she called the police or appears the least worried about him when they meet her in her apartment. Oh, and she married one of the idiots as well and her baby wasn’t at the wedding. Seems like this boy’s guardian angel was working overtime if you ask me. Still, when a guy like Alan Garner (who certainly shouldn’t have kids) can keep a better watchful eye on a baby than his own mother, you can see why Jade belongs on the list.
12. Hattie Dorsett
The Problem: Sybil is a bespectacled substitute teacher who has 13 personalities. Understandably, this really creates a lot of difficulties in her life that she starts seeing a therapist to help sort things out. Turns out that these 13 personalities were the result of a terrible childhood under the care of her paranoid schizophrenic mother, Hattie. What Sibyl endured under her was unspeakable abuse (at least physical yet, nobody questioned what was going on despite the various injuries she sustained and this includes her father, grandmother, and even pediatrician). Nevertheless, though this movie may seem it was taken from some Lifetime Movie of the Week, but I’m sure this woman definitely belongs on this list. May even eat Precious’ mother for breakfast.
13. Eleanor Shaw Iselin
From: The Manchurian Candidate
The Problem: Those who remember Angela Lansbury from voicing Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast would find that she didn’t always play charming grandmotherly types. In this one, she’s basically one of the cruelest and trippiest mothers in screen history. Despite being married to a close vegetable clone of Senator Joe McCarthy (alcoholic red-baiting bastard), Eleanor is actually a communist agent quietly working to overthrow the US government with her Manchurian Candidate (her John Bircher husband) and brainwashes her former Korean War POW son Raymond Shaw into becoming a political assassin and sleeper agent, subconsciously activated with a particular trigger (the Queen of Diamonds). Basically this brainwashing leads Raymond to kill his new wife and her father during the honeymoon. Oh, and let’s say that Raymond and Ellie’s relationship is more than of the familial variety (where they get a bed scene in the novel). Yet, I’m sure she’s justified since world domination is at stake. All in all, who’s mommy’s little assassin? Who’s mommy’s little assassin?
14. Olivia Foxworth
From: Flowers in the Attic
The Problem: Well, besides being played by the kind of woman you wouldn’t want near your bedside in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Olivia is perhaps the worst grandmother in all of fiction. For one, she disinherits her daughter over her marrying her half-uncle. Second, though she tells Corinne that she could stay and inherit a family fortune as long as she keeps hides her four kids in the attic. Third, Olivia uses her daughter’s incestuous marriage in the most religiously hypocritical way to starve, abuse, lie, blackmail, and dehumanize her grandchildren as well as commit outright murder among other things. And she sees these totally innocent products of incest as, “devil’s spawn.” Not to mention, while a lot of grandmothers are known for baking cookies, hers are laced with arsenic to slowly poison her grandkids. Oh, and when she puts the kiddies up in the attic, she basically says, “So that you understand me now, I will give you food and shelter, but never kindness or love. For it is impossible to feel anything but disgust for what is not wholesome.” Sheesh, thank God my grandmother’s nothing like that.
15. Mama Fratelli
From: The Goonies
The Problem: Anne Ramsey has made a career of playing ugly bad mothers from the 1980s and Mama Fratelli is no exception. Now this woman really is a terrible sight to behold. For one, she hates kids despite having 3 of them. Second, she raised them to be thugs, killers, and scumbags. Third, though she’s an abusive parent, her son Francis is obviously her favorite while her treatment of Sloth is utterly horrifying. I mean she dropped him on his head a few times as well as chained him to a wall. How unforgivable.
16. Violet Venable
From: Suddenly, Last Summer
The Problem: Sure she’s played by Katharine Hepburn, but Mrs. Venable makes Eleanor of Aquitaine seem like a Madonna in comparison in this Tennessee Williams adaptation. And I mean she’s just, oh, where to begin? For one, she promises to fund the state hospital to build a new wing as long as brain surgeon Dr. John Curkowicz can perform a lobotomy on her niece Catherine. Now Catherine is already experiencing shock from what happened to Violet’s son Sebastian last summer during their disastrous European vacation that her memory’s a bit fuzzy. Oh, and did I say her aunt Violet committed her to a mental institution where she’s raped by one of the staff? And she’s also having her committed to the state mental hospital, too. Yet, once the film goes on, you realize Violet’s main reason for forcing a lobotomy on Catherine has more to do with wanting to hide the truth about the circumstances behind her son’s death (like cannibalism) as well as his sordid personal life (he was a flamingly light in the loafers, to put it lightly). Second, she also has Cathy’s mother and brother consent to the commitment and lobotomy just so they could receive a considerable inheritance from Sebastian’s will. Third, it’s very clear her feelings for Sebastian were more than just familial as well as idealizes him as “chaste” though we later find out he was anything but (for those trips to Europe weren’t just about just writing poetry. Still, doesn’t stop Violet from referring to her and Sebastian as a “couple”). Not to mention, another reason why Violet may want Cathy’s frontal brain removed may have something to do with her resentment toward her as well (mostly because Cathy could give Sebastian the boy toys and she can’t). Yes, this woman would use any means at her disposal to protect her son’s legacy even if it means ruining her niece’s life.
17. Mama Rose Hovick
The Problem: As the stage mother of the legendary stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc, Mama Rose is determined to make her two daughters stars and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal, even if she has to drag them all the way across the country to get them noticed. The acts are childish, innocent stage personae that they become unable to keep up as they grow older (and are becoming incredibly sick of). She’d also go as far as to give them multiple 10th birthday parties to trick them they were indefinitely 10 years old so she could milk them for all they were worth. What their daughters really want is their mother just to settle down with her boyfriend Herbie and have a normal life. Eventually their controlling mother’s attention becomes too much for June to bear that she gets married and runs away. And then she turns her attentions to Louise (Gypsy Rose at the time) yet by that time, Vaudeville children’s shows are basically a thing of the past. So seeing burlesque as the only way for Louise to be a star, Mama Rose makes her become a stripper. Gypsy Rose Lee becomes very successful as a result but she’s disgusted nonetheless. And yes, this woman was real as well as sets the criteria for your stereotypical stage mother.
18. Erica Sayers
From: Black Swan
The Problem: Of course, even when she grows up, a daughter will always be her mother’s little girl. Unfortunately, for Nina Sayers, her mother seems to have taken this idea up to the extreme. I mean, considering she’s a ballerina, Nina is probably in her twenties (at most), yet she sleeps in a room designed for a six-year-old girl and her mom seems to treat her like one, too, (I mean she cuts her nails, dresses her, and puts mittens on her to so she won’t scratch herself). Oh, and it’s full of holes so Erica can spy on her, which is very creepy in itself. Still, I always think that Erica is one of those stage mothers who forces her daughter to live her dreams because she had the misfortune of having her ballerina career come to an abrupt end by getting knocked up. And she’s still quite bitter about it. Still, all her verbal abuse and psychological torture on Nina takes a heavy toll on her psyche and it’s very clear that she’s already quite mentally unstable, sexually repressed, and emotionally stunted by the time the movie starts. Not to mention, she harms herself and has an eating disorder. Oh, and did I tell you that Erica is sleeping in the same room Nina is masturbating in during one scene? And it gets far worse from there, especially with the fact she’s such a perfectionist and obsessed with making mama proud. Sort of makes Mama Rose seem normal.
19. Janine “Smurf” Cody
From: Animal Kingdom
The Problem: When 17 year old Joshua Cody’s mom dies of a heroin overdose, he’s sent to live with his grandmother Janine, and uncles. Sure she seems affectionate enough, but that might be an act. Unfortunately, Janine is the matriarch of the Melbourne crime family that specializes in armed robbery with one uncle doing some drug dealing on the side as well as carries an utterly ruthless streak. Joshua’s uncles let him learn the ropes of the family business, yet this leads to his girlfriend Nicky getting killed by one of them, just to keep her silent. Joshua calls the cops which results in two of his uncles’ arrested and jailed. Now Janine tries to get her two remaining sons out of jail by basically arranging her grandson to be killed if he ever dares to testify. So by the end of the movie, she has two sons dead, one in a catatonic state, and a grandson utterly morally conflicted, corrupted, and devastated. Still, when it comes to crime matriarchs, she’s one of the most frightening. Also, may love her sons in a way that’s off-putting.
20. Lilly Dillon
From: The Grifters
The Problem: While her old man played the dad from hell in Chinatown, Anjelica Huston takes as a veteran con woman who comes bursting into her estranged son Roy’s life with the violence and passion of an ex-lover. And let me tell you, Lilly and Roy have a very interesting relationship possibly akin to Oedipus Rex. Sure she had him at 14 and gave him up for adoption but you’d probably think their relationship should’ve ended there. Then again could she just be motivate by just plain hatred? Yet, by the end of the day, there’s nothing more important to Lilly than mama’s little boy, except maybe expanding mama’s little bank account. Yet, she always reminds her son that he’s not good enough for anything, even being a lousy crook. Still, this doesn’t stop her from trying to seduce him, slitting his throat, stealing all his money, and leaving him bleed to death.
21. Monica Swinton
From: A. I. Artificial Intelligence
The Problem: Now I know it’s hard when your kid falls into a coma. And I can see why any parent would want a “replacement” child even if it’s a robot. But even if your real kid is cured, there’s no excuse for any mother her to abandon her android kid in the woods who’s been “courting” to win her love. Now robot child or not, what Monica Swinton did was just cruel.
22. Corrine Dollaganger
From: Flowers in the Attic
The Problem: Sure the Dollagangers may seem like a perfect family from the outside. But when Chris is killed on the night of his 36th birthday and the Dollagangers find themselves in financial ruin, Corrine resolves to visit her childhood home Foxworth Hall, home of her old man who disinherited her over her marriage (to her uncle, no doubt). However, she’s so determined to win back the inheritance and get back into her family’s good graces that she’s willing to let her mother put her four kids in an attic for extra space to live and play until the old man croaks, where they’re locked in for years and endure all kinds of abuse. Of course, once Corrine gets a taste of the good life again floors below, she just doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the kids and remarries. Also,tries to slowly poison her kids so she could get to her dad’s money faster through arsenic, which causes her younger son’s death. Somebody please call child services immediately for this woman belongs in jail. For God’s sake, why can’t this woman avoid all this devastation and just get herself a job? Would’ve made things a lot easier.
23. Gracie Stewart
From: The Others
The Problem: Well, at first she seems like a devoted protector who shields her two light-sensitive children in an isolated Jersey mansion just after World War II. But is she ill or is she just manipulative? Some things just don’t add up right. Mr. Stewart went to war and never returned, servants keep leaving, and the house is full of ghosts. Also, as a devout Catholic, tells her kids stories about the undead in eternal limbo. It turns out that Gracie went crazy and killed her kids before offing herself so basically her children would never grow up, tragically. Still, might be a horror movie I’d want to watch since it got critical acclaim and doesn’t seem to fit in the slasher category.
24. Alex Goran
From: Up in the Air
The Problem: I have absolutely no problem with working moms but I do have a problem with parents being away for days and cheating on their spouses (as well as leading their lovers on like attending a family wedding with them). Now we don’t know that she’s a mother until the end when downsizer Ryan Bingham goes to see her in Chicago, which just totally devastates him. But it really tells a lot about her as a person since we’ve seen her during most of the movie in her jet-setting corporate lifestyle and sleeping around with George Clooney. Now sleeping around in the corporate world is one thing, but spending most of your time engaging in a secret lifestyle on the road just makes Jack Lemmon’s bosses on The Apartment seem like shining beacons of fatherhood (though Alex would find good company among these assholes). And what makes it worse is how likeable she seems beforehand as if she’s the missing cog that would make Ryan’s life complete, but at least he was the one to find out. I expect a scene of her kids’ discovery of her activities almost unravel like that one scene with Biff finding Willy with his pants down in Death of a Salesman. Because even though Ryan was broken enough by what he saw, just imagine how devastated her kids would be if they saw their mom banging him. Nevertheless, Alex is a very selfish woman who puts her own immediate desires before her family’s or anyone else’s and basically deceives everybody in the process. I know double standards may be in play here (seeing that a lot of guys do the same thing like Willy Loman), but I just can’t see any reason not to include Alex Goran on the list.
25. Gladys Leeman
From: Drop Dead Gorgeous
The Problem: Now there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious or wanting the best for your child. And if there’s a way you can do this while correcting the mistakes you made in your life, then fine, but up to a point. However, Gladys is on the list for two things. For one, she enters her daughter in a child beauty pageant, which is already bad parenting for obvious reasons (well, it involves teens, but still it’s bad). Yet, you can let that slide since Gladys herself was once a beauty queen in a child pageant herself so that habit probably runs in the family. Second, Gladys is willing to have her little Rebecca win the pageant through any means necessary even if it means taking out the competition. And by “taking out the competition,” I mean bribing and hiring all the judges (of which Gladys happens to be head), having one of the contestants killed via exploding tractor, and attempting several other murders like blowing up a trailer and making a girl deaf by dropping a stage light on her. Sort of makes Toddlers & Tiaras seem like Sesame Street in comparison. And what’s worse, Rebecca is basically devoid of any real talent (basically serenading a Jesus on wheels with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”). If Rebecca had won, one only has to assume what kind of self-entitled bitch she’d turn out to be perhaps like Veruca Salt. Still, in her beauty pageants, the competition is deadly–literally.
26. Miranda Hillard
From: Mrs. Doubtfire
The Problem: Sally Field has been known for playing great mothers like Mrs. Gump, Norma Rae, and the mom in Places of the Heart. Unfortunately, Miranda Hillard doesn’t really measure up to that since she hires a nanny to look after her three children. Now we all know it’s really her ex-husband in disguise but come on, she should’ve known (even if Daniel was a talented voice actor with a makeup artist brother). I mean she’s been married to him for at least over fifteen years (assuming the 14-year-old was conceived legitimately). Still, being unable to recognize your ex-husband through a guise of an old Scottish nanny is a clear case of negligence, which means she shouldn’t have been granted sole custody if she wasn’t willing to properly investigate someone she planned to hire to care for her children.
27. Alice Ecklund Ward
From: The Fighter
The Problem: This is the role that earned Melissa Leo the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in which she dropped the f-bomb in her acceptance speech. Now Micky Ward spent a lifetime of battling dysfunctional family members as beefy boxers. And boxing ring stage mother Alice is no exception. A fierce creature in spandex, peroxide, and shiny red daggers for nails, she’s a vengeful goddess who wields her maternal power by expecting too much from one son and not enough from the other who’s a crack addict and a crook, no less. This leads to her son Micky to take a vicious beating in a mismanaged fight that could’ve ended his life, let alone career. Sure it can be hard for any mother to admit that she’s severely misjudged her own children (take Mildred Pierce, for example). But she takes this to Adam Trask levels and beyond, with worse results. Micky must’ve been a saint to put up with her as long as he did.
28. Ruth Dewitt Bukater
From: Titanic (1997)
The Problem: Now I know what she does is quite normal for a woman for 1912, but still, she’s a real piece of work. Sure she used to be very wealthy and has no skills or desire for work but that doesn’t mean anything. For one, she’s a completely selfish woman who expects her daughter Rose to fix all the family’s problems instead of doing what she wants. And this means marrying a guy filthy rich turd named Caledon Hockley who’s proposed to Rose and the wedding is imminent by the time of the voyage. Nevertheless, it’s very clear that Rose doesn’t want to marry this guy but sees no way out of the ordeal that she throws herself overboard. Still, Ruth cares nothing about what Rose wants from life and is so determined to be rich again that she’d sacrifice her daughter’s happiness for a silver spoon. Though I can understand her being against her daughter being involved with a homeless bum, I don’t see why Ruth can just marry Rose off to some other rich guy than Cal, at least one who doesn’t shoot people when the ship sinks. Thankfully, the iceberg puts a huge dent in the wedding plans.
29. Ma Jarrett
From: White Heat
The Problem: Sure Arthur “Cody” Jarrett is a very violent and mentally unstable criminal and it’s understandable why almost everyone in his gang and even his own wife is afraid of him. Yet, despite his self-image as a tough leader of crime-loving thugs, you also have his intimidating mother “Ma” Jarrett who really runs things for the gang as she’s the only one who could keep him from going full sociopath as well as keep him sane. However, she’s also barking in Cody’s ear and encouraging him to commit all kinds of awful offenses (like killing his wife and the second-in-command who’s screwing her). Not to mention, she knows his dad died in a madhouse but does nothing to ensure Cody would end up the same way (well, he does go to prison but that’s not much better). Surely one of the nastiest old ladies in movie history as well as a mother who’d go to great lengths to protect her batshit crazy son with even less fear than he. It’s hard to tell which one is scarier. Sure Cody may be a complete psycho but I cringe when I see Ma Jarrett discover that “Big Ed” Somers and Verna aren’t just having an affair but also plan to kill Cody Jarrett as well. Is it any wonder she had to go?
30. Miss Havisham
From: Great Expectations
The Problem: Charles Dickens was known to create relatively decent moms save this one. Yet, as far as adoptive mothers go, Miss Havisham is about the worst among them in film, second to only Joan Crawford. Now by the look of her, you can tell that Miss Havisham has never gotten over being left at the altar as a young bride. Sure she adopts an orphan girl named Estella in hopes to save her from a world of misery. But what she really wants is revenge and she’s not above stealing Estella’s heart and putting ice in its place to do it as well ruin her chances for a normal life. Yet, Estella isn’t the only one of her victims in her cruel and self-serving game of chess with a number of people’s lives in an effort to the aching gap in her own decrypted heart. Oh, Miss Havisham, why couldn’t you let Pip marry Estella? Also, maybe it’s time you need to get over being jilted on your wedding day, seriously. Nevertheless, Miss Havisham does see the error in her ways but she ends up a suicidal wreck in the process.