Joan Crawford, "Mommie Dearest"
In "Mommie Dearest," Faye Dunaway stars as real-life actress Joan Crawford, a mother portrayed as compulsive and quite psychotic. The movie is based on the memoirs of Crawford's own daughter, Christina.
Dunaway received critical disdain for her performance, critics finding it so far over-the-top that it seems unrealistic any human could exhibit these attributes. The clothes hanger scene is still one of the most infamous in cinema history.
Momma, "Throw Momma From the Train"
Anne Ramsey portrayed a bad mother more than once, including as the bank-robbing momma in "The Goonies." However, she was such a poor excuse for a mother in "Throw Momma From the Train" that her own son wanted to hire someone to kill her.
While murder might seem a little harsh, by the halfway mark of the movie, Ramsey left such an imprint that most viewers agreed with her spineless son that she might be better off dead. Ramsey earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the movie.
Margaret White, "Carrie"
While the previous two mothers did a lot to try to mess with their kids' lives, Margaret White did plenty to ruin her daughter Carrie's life completely. Based on the Stephen King book of the same name, "Carrie" tells the story of a young unpopular girl (Sissy Spacek) who is unprepared when she begins puberty. Her mother, a strict fundamental Christian, worked to always make Carrie feel she was a failure and sinner. When Carrie develops telekinetic powers, no one who hurt her is safe, including her mom.
Mary Jones, "Precious"
As bad as the first three moms are, at least they never tried to kill their daughter. In "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," Mo'Nique portrays an abusive mother who seems to live with a deep hatred for her daughter, nicknamed Precious. At one point, she throws her large television down a flight of stairs, aiming for her daughter's head.
When Mary finally gets a chance to explain herself, she comes across as pathetic and selfish. This was a case where a character escaping her mother's shadow was the only way to survive.