May 28, 2023

Feature:The Best On-Screen Mothers


June 10 sees the release of Mother’s Day, a nerve-wracking thriller starring the legendary Rebecca De Mornay as the terrifying mother of a family of criminals. Of course De Mornay is just the latest in a long line of memorable on-screen mums. So to mark its release, let’s take a look at the best, worst, and craziest mothers in the history of cinema.

Norma BatesPsycho
In Hitchcock’s classic masterpiece, Janet Leigh’s fugitive on the run thinks that Norman Bates’ is a shy, sweet young man, dominated by his overbearing mother Norma. Little does she know that Norma dies years ago and the ‘Norma’ that she can she is just Norman’s split personality on a murderous rampage! Spoiler warning, though the film is over half a century old!

Marge SimpsonThe Simpsons Movie
With her distinctive towering blue hair (not to mention the trademark Simpson yellow skin) Marge is well-meaning and extremely patient mother of the Simpson family, and one of the most famous mums on the planet (even if she is just a cartoon). Marge made the leap to the big screen alongside the rest of the family when the long-running animated sitcom finally had its own cinematic spin off in 2007.

Mary Lee JohnstonPrecious
Mo’nique won an Oscar for performance as the monstrous, abusive mother of Gabourey Sididbe’s titular troubled teenager. Previously best known as comedienne, she came out of nowhere to winner the Best Supporting Actress statuette and in the process created one of the most horrible characters in recent cinematic memory. It is to her and the filmmaker’s credit that that no matter how horrendous Mary Lee gets, she is always portrayed as a real, if very flawed, human being and never stumbles into cartoonish caricature.

Mrs IselinThe Manchurian Candidate
SPOILER WARNING! In this classic cold war thriller, damaged veteran Frank Sinartra suffers from nightmares that decorated war hero Laurence Harvey is actually a trained assassin. Of course, nothing is what it seems , and in the shocking finale, it’s revealed Harvey’s scheming mother, played with venomous relish by Murder She Wrote’s Angela Lansbury, has been brainwashing her son her along!

Mrs. GumpForrest Gump
In this classic generation-spanning comedy-drama, Forrest Gump’s mother is one of the few constants in his eventful life, and there’s not a dry eye in the house when she passes away. Sally Field gives a tender performance as kind, strong woman who stands by her son no matter what. Interesting fact – Despite playing his on-screen mother, Sally Field is only 10 years older than Tom Hanks.

Isabel KellyStepmom
In this classic modern tear-jerker, Susan Sanrandon plays Jackie, a divorced mother who clashes with her husband’s new girl friend Isabel (Julia Roberts), fearing that she’s bad for her children. But when Jackie is diagnosed with terminal cancer, they both learn that you can be a fantastic, loving mother without necessarily being a biological parent.

“The Mother” Natalie KoffinMother’s Day
A group of brothers on the run from the law burst into a party and take the guests hostage – so far, it’s not too different to your average home invasion thriller. But then the boy’s call in their dear old mum – the sadistic, evil, darkly humorous and absolutely terrifying Rebecca De Mornay. Screen legend De Mornay gives a performance of a life time in this summer’s more nerve-wracking thriller.

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Mother’s Day is in cinemas 10 June.

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