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Mildred Pierce (1945)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 20 October 1945 (USA)
A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

When Mildred Pierce's wealthy husband leaves her for another woman, Mildred decides to raise her two daughters on her own. Despite Mildred's financial successes in the restaurant business, her oldest daughter, Veda, resents her mother for degrading their social status. In the midst of a police investigation after the death of her second husband, Mildred must evaluate her own freedom and her complicated relationship with her daughter. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mother's love leads to murder. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Solange ein Herz schlägt  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,453,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack L. Warner originally wanted Vincent Sherman to direct the film but Jerry Wald held out for Michael Curtiz. See more »

Goofs

When Monty is pouring Mildred a drink, he asks her to say "when" for when she wants him to stop pouring, but then gives her the drink he poured for himself. See more »

Quotes

Lottie: [on the opening of Mildred's restaurant] This is just like my wedding night, so exciting!
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are presented with a background ocean scene that "washes" the credits on the screen. See more »


Soundtracks

Waltz in E Flat Major (Grand valse brillante)
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played by Veda on the piano
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User Reviews

 
Crawford's tour-de-force is a real stunner.
17 October 1999 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

Joan Crawford's tour-de-force as a self-sacrificing mother is a real stunner. Directed by Michael Curtiz, and based on James M.Cain's steamy novel, "Mildred Pierce" is a slick stylish sudser that ranks among the best.

After a decade-long streak at MGM, Crawford, made her way over to Warner Bros. It was a brilliant move as Crawford won an Oscar (as Mildred) and ended up back on top.

As the title character, Crawford brings a sense of steely determination and guts. As a devoted housewife, Mildred puts the needs of her family first. So when her husband (Bruce Bennett) begins a sleazy affair with a woman down the street, Mildred kicks him out and starts life anew. Nothing - not even one daughter's death and another daughter's selfishness - stops Mildred from working her way to the top. She goes from waitress in a greasy diner to the wealthy owner of a successful restaurant chain. But despite her achievements, Mildred must contend with a slimy lover (Zachary Scott) and her increasingly vile and spoiled daughter, Veda (Ann Blyth). All the drama comes to a rousing climax, which culminates in a physical altercation between brat and mom.

Crawford's gut-wrenchingly sympathetic performance draws you in, and the sparks that she and the wonderful Blyth create are unforgettable. Also, a playful Eve Arden as Mildred's pal, spouts off some terrific dialogue.

"Mildred Pierce" is an exceptional piece of work that uses some of the finest elements of classic cinema. The story moves along at a sleek pace, and thanks to the writers, "Mildred" never sinks in the froth of its own soapiness. A powerful, emotional cinematic experience.


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