10 Bad Movie Mothers

Few things have occupied as much time on the screen as these 10 bad movie mothers.  From the evil queen of “Snow White” to Mrs. Iselin, these are the bad mothers of the movies.

  1. Joan Crawford. Who can forget Joan Crawford, played to perfection in the campy and delightful “Mommie Dearest.”  From beating her daughter Catherine with a wire coat hanger to nearly strangling her to death, the star Joan certainly deserves her place among the worst of movie mothers.
  2. The Evil Queen. Made famous in Walt Disney’s classic film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” the evil queen is certainly one of the worst (step)mothers to have ever walked across the screen.  When her hired killer fails to do the fair maid Snow White in, she takes to the streets herself, and who could ever forget that delicious-looking (but oh-so-deadly) apple?
  3. The Wicked Stepmother. Another Disney creation, the wicked stepmother from “Cinderella” does everything she can to make her stepdaughter happy, while simultaneously spoiling her own two children rotten.  Fortunately, as with all bad movie mothers, she gets her just deserts when Cinderella gets to marry the prince and she’s left behind with her hideous daughters.
  4. Mrs. Iselin. When it comes to bad movie mothers, Mrs. Iselin from the film “The Manchurian Candidate.” Angela Lansbury plays this part to perfection, right down the incestuous love for her son, who she also manipulates into a failed plot to assassinate a presidential candidate. Unfortunately for her, he shoots her instead, in one of the most chilling scenes in all of cinema.
  5. Senator Shaw. Senator Shaw, played by Meryl Streep in the 2004 remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” also plays the bad mother role to perfection, implementing the same sort of manipulation that made the earlier character such a delight to watch. She is one bad movie mom that is not to be missed.
  6. Olympias. As the mother of one of the most powerful men in the world, Olympias (mother of Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s biopic) is a weird mixture of manipulator and sultry seductress. Although Jolie has a very strange accent in her portrayal, she is certainly a bad mother, who schemes to assassinate her husband and eventually chases Alexander away.
  7. Mrs. Lift. When it comes to tyrannical and domineering movie mothers, who could forget Mrs. Lift, played by the wonderful Anne Ramsey in the film “Throw Momma from the Train.” With her constant harassment of her unfortunate son Owen, Mrs. Lift is one of the worst mothers on the silver screen.
  8. Mother Fratelli. Also played by Anne Ramsey, Mother Fratelli in the film “The Goonies” deserves her place on the list, since she imprisons one of her sons in the basement and spends the rest of her time tormenting the other two.  Who needs enemies when you’ve got a mother like that?
  9. Beverly Sutphin. This mom, played by Kathleen Turner in the film “Serial Mom” loves her family, and she’s willing to kill (literally) to protect them. Motherly love is a great thing, but taken to extremes it makes for a bad mother.
  10. Atia. This mother of Octavian (the Emperor Augustus) from the HBO series “Rome,” is willing to use her children to get ahead, regardless of what they might have to say about it. Even worse, she’s often more interested in getting into bed with Marc Antony than with her own son’s inheritance! Combined with her ruthless cunning, Atia definitely deserves her place among the bad moms of the movies.
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