A. Ashley Hoff, in conversation with Ann Magnuson, discusses With Love, Mommie Dearest: The Making of an Unintentional Camp Classic

A. Ashley Hoff

When she died in 1977, Joan Crawford was remembered as an icon of Hollywood's Golden Age--until publication the following year of her daughter's memoir, Mommie Dearest.

Christina Crawford's book was an immediate bestseller, addressing the infrequently discussed topic of child abuse.

When Paramount Pictures released the film, starring Faye Dunaway as Crawford, it was critically panned, and remains one of the most legendary critical bombs in film history. The lavish, big-screen adaptation drew unexpected laughter in the scenes depicting life in the Crawford household. Rarely have such good intentions been met with such ridicule.

Despite this, the movie was a commercial success and remains, four decades later, immensely popular. With Love, Mommie Dearest details the writing and selling of Christina's book and the aftermath of its publication, as well as the filming of the motion picture, whose backstage drama almost surpassed what was viewed onscreen in the film. (Chicago Review Press)

A. Ashley Hoff is the author of Match Game 101: A Backstage History of Match Game and With Love, Mommie Dearest: The Making of an Unintentional Camp Classic. He previously worked for talent agencies in Chicago and Los Angeles and has written articles on Hollywood for the Advocate and Films in Review. He has been interviewed on numerous pop culture subjects in magazines such as Closer Weekly and on various local talk shows and podcasts such as The Nick Digilio Show on WGN Radio, The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, and the podcast Feast of Fun.

Ann Magnuson is an artist, writer, actor, performer, and musician whose eclectic resume traverses the entertainment landscape like few others. She has acted in Hollywood blockbusters, Off-Broadway plays, TV sitcoms and indie films; fronted various bands; made records; written for numerous publications and has presented her original performance art pieces at art institutions worldwide including the Whitney Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, BAM, LACMA, MOCA, The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, The Walker Art Center, The Broad, The Andy Warhol Museum and in places as far flung as Tokyo’s Sogetsu Hall and The Ice Hotel inside Sweden’s Arctic Circle. A native of West Virginia, Ann was inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame in early 2018 and presented with an honorary doctorate from West Virginia University’s College of Arts in 2020. Learn more about Ann and her work at www.annmagnuson.com.

Event date: 
Friday, May 10, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Event Type: 
With Love, Mommie Dearest: The Making of an Unintentional Camp Classic By A. Ashley Hoff, Bruce Vilanch (Foreword by) Cover Image
By A. Ashley Hoff, Bruce Vilanch (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781641607681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicago Review Press - May 7th, 2024