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Top 10 Movies for Sons and Daughters of Narcissistic Families of Origin

Updated on December 30, 2019
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KC3Lady writes with Gail Meyers on Narcissism: Echo Apologetics. Our new name reflects the expansion of the topics.

Scene from the 1944 movie Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman, Angela Lansbury and Charles Boyer
Scene from the 1944 movie Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman, Angela Lansbury and Charles Boyer | Source

These are movies to give adult sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin validation, entertainment, education, and insight up and down the scale of experiences. One reason for this is because invalidation is so often such a fundamental issue for adult sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin. It seems sometimes easier to process abuses through identification with a character in a movie, recalling that we write from personal experience as well as nearly a decade of online advocacy, but are not licensed professionals, nor are we associated with any licensed mental health providers.

1. The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz Movie Poster, 1939.
The Wizard of Oz Movie Poster, 1939. | Source

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz can be framed in the narcissism literature. Opinions have varied on how movie watchers see the various roles in the movie, but many see the "wizard" as the narcissist. So, even if you saw The Wizard of Oz as a child, be sure to watch it again as an adult with the narcissism literature in mind.

Be sure not to miss the Wicked Witch of the West, and her jealousy and entitlement issues regarding Dorothy and the ruby red slippers. Then, notice how she goes about obtaining what she wants, by sending her flying monkeys after Dorothy. Flying monkeys have come to symbolize abuse by proxy, with the narcissist sending his or her flying monkeys after their victims.

The Wizard of Oz Movie Trailer

2. Gaslight the Movie

The number one must-see movie for sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin is Gaslight. Gaslighting tops our list of abusive, manipulative tactics narcissistic bullies use in Top 10 Narcissistic Bullying Tactics to Recognize.

It is very important that sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin have a firm grasp on the topic of gaslighting. So be sure to watch the movie and articulate all of the abusive maneuvers you are able to. Do not be put off by the old black and white style of the 1944 movie. This is a Don Juan perpetrator sweeping Ingrid Bergman's character off of her feet for ulterior motives. Notice the young maid is actually Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury's debut, with her character joining in on the gaslighting.

Gaslight Trailer

While Dr. Robin Stern articulated three phases of gaslighting in her book, The Gaslight Effect, including: Disbelief, Defense, and Depression, we at Narcissism: Echo Apologetics 2020 recently proposed the previously suspected higher-spectrum gaslighting articulated in Gaslighting Invalidation: Determined Diagnosis, and announced our intent to publish Gaslighting: Rewriting History and Identity Theft.

Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight

Scene from the 1944 movie Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman
Scene from the 1944 movie Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman | Source

3. The Devil Wears Prada

The cast: Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.
The cast: Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. | Source

Narcissistic Bosses: The Devil Wears Prada

Anne Hathaway works for Meryl Streep in this movie about a narcissistic boss. While The Devil Wears Prada is one source of validation for those experiencing narcissistic bosses, we really have not found a movie to more fully express personal experience with a narcissistic boss who was not nearly as easily spotted at the narcissistic boss in this movie. So be on the lookout for the overtly narcissistic boss, but also join us when we publish Kansas City Workplace Mobbing and Multiple Perpetrator Stalkers in the near future. This link will become live when the article is published.

The Devil Wears Prada

4. White Oleander

Michelle Pfeiffer stars in this movie, White Oleander. Michelle's character poisons her lover and goes to prison where she still tries to dominate her daughter's life. You can really see the toxic effect this type of person has on those around them, including their children. Her daughter ends up in foster care, and even then her mother has a toxic effect on her foster mother. Robin Wright Penn and Rene Zellweger also star.

White Oleander

And, of course, the Christian in the movie is portrayed as a ditz, and referred to as "Bible-thumping trailer trash" by the narcissist. However, be sure to remember that the church is one of the favorite places narcissists love to hide.

White Oleander

White Nerium Oleander. Athens, Greece.
White Nerium Oleander. Athens, Greece. | Source

It has been our experience that multiple perpetrator stalkers take drugging or poisoning someone with a grain of salt, and even though reported to police, it was never stopped, nor did it result in any known charges. We have personally had food, air, and beverages drugged or poisoned with toxic substances. So be sure not to miss that point in the movie. In the movie the police at least made an arrest after the death of her boyfriend due to the poisoning with white oleander.

5. Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment | Source

Narcissistic Mother in Terms of Endearment

Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson star in Terms of Endearment. Shirley MacLaine won an Academy Award for her performance as the narcissistic mother. Shirley MacLaine gives such a typical response in this movie, making her daughter's (Debra Winger) news of her first pregnancy all about her. This movie is a real tear-jerker as you follow Debra Winger's character through the struggles of enduring her narcissistic mother, her rocky marriage, and finally, her struggle with cancer.

Terms of Endearment Movie Trailer

6. Mommie Dearest

Mommie Dearest

While we considered excluding this one due to it sometimes being triggering to survivors, it is just such a cornerstone of abusive narcissistic mothers portrayed on screen that we did not feel we could leave it out. Faye Dunaway plays Joan Crawford, the abusive, narcissistic mother.

Joan Crawford holding a face cast of herself.
Joan Crawford holding a face cast of herself. | Source

Bette Davis on Joan Crawford: Co-Stars of Baby Jane

7. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane seems over the top, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Interestingly enough, Joan Crawford herself is the topic of one of the other top ten movie choices, Mommie Dearest. Be sure to notice the dependency, the disability, the nutrition issues, the taunting, and the "Daddy" issues in this movie about a narcissistic sister.

Joan Crawford in Baby Jane
Joan Crawford in Baby Jane | Source

8. Sleeping with the Enemy

Sleeping with the Enemy stars Julie Roberts in an abusive relationship that she tries to escape. He stalks her, tries to control her, and is manipulative in his truly frightening behavior.

9. The Betty Broderick Story

The Betty Broderick Story is a movie based on a true story, and the most famous Narcissistic Personality Disorder case in the United States. The case divided a jury, city, and the country. Meredith Baxter plays Betty as the movie chronicles her life with her husband and their young family. Betty worked to support her husband while he got his education, while the two of them built their family of four children.

As the years roll by, her husband, Dan, hires a new assistant, a younger, attractive blonde. Eventually, the two divorce and he marries the younger assistant, Linda. In this tragic story, Betty ends up shooting the two of them in their bed, and is then put on trial for the murders. She is incarcerated to this day.

A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story

10. Brian Blackwell Story

The Brian Blackwell Story is the most famous Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) case in the United Kingdom. Brian killed his parents in cold blood.

We hope you are enriched by this list of top ten movies for adult sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin up and down the spectrum. Just know that you are by far not the only one who has suffered such manipulation and abuse at the hands of those who by God's design should have loved us most, and others, as can sometimes seem the case for adult sons and daughters of narcissistic families of origin, for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and in accordance with comments left on our pages over the years, even to the ages of 70 or 80. These are the souls we strive to reach.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Kelly Ann Christensen


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