15 Mother's Day Classic Movies

Celebrate motherhood with these classic movies.

1. Always Goodbye (1938)

A mother (Barbara Stanwyck) gives up her child, then meets him years later. Should she tell him her secret? Johnnie Russell stars as her son Roddy and nearly steals the movie.

2. The Bad Seed (1956)

While her husband is away on duty, a woman (Nancy Kelly) discovers her innocent little girl might be a murderer. Most of the Broadway cast reprise their roles. It's an interesting discussion in heredity.

3. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Though this film focuses on Daisy Werthan's relationship with her chauffeur, it is also a film about a mother's relationship with her adult son as they both age. Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd star.

4. Freaky Friday (1976)

Mother and daughter switch bodies and learn to understand each other. Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster star in this Disney film.

5. I Remember Mama (1948)


A Norwegian family navigates their new life in the U.S. in 1910. Irene Dunne stars.

6. Imitation of Life  (1959)

Two mothers (Lana Turner and Juanita Moore) live together while raising their two daughters. The daughters grow distant. See also the 1934 version with Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers.

7. Little Women (1949)

Mary Astor keeps her four headstrong daughters together while father is off to fight in the Civil War. See also the 1919 and 1933 versions.

8. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Joan Crawford's Academy Award-winning performance of a mother's struggle to provide for her family and build a business while dealing with a spoiled teenaged daughter(Ann Blyth).

Betty Grable heads the cast of this musical about parenting in the early days of vaudeville.

10. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Greer Garson plays a British mother who protects her family during World War II.

11. Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)

Doris Day is the mother of four rowdy little boys. She must also deal with a husband (David Niven) whose career in the city blossoms just as they move to a house in the country.

12. The Reckless Moment (1949)

A woman (Joan Bennett) covers up her daughter's seamy dealings with a criminal while her husband is away.  She is then blackmailed, all while making Christmas plans for the family.

13. The Restless Years (1958)

Theresa Wright is a woman raising a daughter alone. She struggles with a mysterious past trauma which leads to a suspicious nature. This keeps her daughter (Sandra Dee) from socializing, which causes problems.

14. The Sound of Music (1965)

This is the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of a woman (Julie Andrews) who leaves a convent to become the governess for a widower’s seven mischievous children. For other Nanny-Marries-Daddy type themes, see Au Pair, Jane Eyre and Corrina,Corrina.

15. Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)

Lucille Ball plays a widow who marries a widower (Henry Fonda) and blends their families together for a total of eighteen children.



  1. THE BAD SEED is a marvelous conclusion. I am also partial to the glossy remake of IMITATION OF LIFE. Really, Lana has to be one of the best-dressed, middle-class moms around. Very fun post!

  2. You're right. Lana looked great even in the "poverty" sequences of that film. Thanks for stopping by.


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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