"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" -- Harry Warner, of Warner Bros. (1926) The Cruel Mother (La marâtre/The Stepmother) Relax - it's not an attack on motherhood. It's just another shot at the traditional whipping post: the stepmother. No new ground covered here, as everyone who's been subjected to fairy tales learned that stepmothers are evil (usually long before learning what the word 'stepmother' means). But be warned that the child beating scenes are not for the squeamish.