Again, the antics portrayed in the film Mommie Dearest are not an example of "over the top" over-acting, but a realistic portrayal of a rage-aholic Mother, as I can attest to, from personal experience. Although my Mom had no fetish about wire coat hangers.
When my Father re-married, he was ecstatic to have three new children to lord over and who were needy. He was tired of the old ones anyway, who were no fun anymore, being resistant, dead, or mentally ill.
My older brother I remember only because he tended to mock me and belittle me, I guess in a way of making himself feel more important. Like I said, my Father tended to belittle him, so maybe this was his way of coping - passing along the fun. He left home early and never looked back and resisted their attempts to steer his career.
While this was hurtful at the time, in retrospect, I realize this only made me stronger and made him weaker. I know that sounds weird (particularly when you calculate the compound interest on $20 over 40 years) but his self-destructive actions ended up destroying him. On the other hand, they merely made me resolute not to go down the same path.
In fact, the only time they seemed to be happy was when I flunked out. As I noted in The Parent Trap there are a lot of parents who love to lord over the ruined lives of their children, and my parents were prime examples. In the cocktail circuit, whining and bitching about your failed children was seen as some sort of perverse status. As I noted before, my Dad once called me on the phone, ecstatic that his step-daughter qualified for full disability - he crowed as if she had graduated from Harvard. I guess that is what qualifies as "success" in my family - going on the dole. Real success is criticized as being flawed or "selling out" - you see how sick this is and how damaging it can be if you adopt those normative cues.
And when some company offers me a "great deal" I realize that they are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but to make money, sometimes in odious ways. And I walk away from that shit, too.