A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.
Mildred Pierce dotes on her daughters while husband Bert looks to Maggie Binderhof for affection. They separate leaving Mildred to raise the girls on her own. Elder daughter Veda goads her mother about their lack of money and in response Mildred proposes opening a small restaurant. Realtor Wally Fay advises her while making numerous rebuffed passes and introduces her to Monte Baragon whose property becomes the first of a chain of restaurants. Mildred has an affair with Monte. Meanwhile, money-hungry Veda pretends to be pregnant by wealthy Ted Forrester in order to bilk his family of $10,000. Mildred tears up the check, is slapped by Veda, and orders her daughter to leave. After time away, Mildred returns to find Veda singing in a cheap club. Veda will return only if Mildred promises her desired (Monte's) lifestyle, so Mildred agrees to marry Monte in exchange for a third of her businesses. It soon becomes clear that something is going on between Veda and Monte. Mildred learns of this ... Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Jack L. Warner proposed filming the novel, Joseph I. Breen of the MPPA wrote in a letter dated February 2, 1944, "...the story contains so many sordid and repellent elements that we feel the finished picture would not only be highly questionable from the standpoint of the Code, but would, likewise, meet with a great deal of difficulty in its release...." Breen went on to suggest that the story be dismissed from further consideration. The major changes made by the writers to conform to the Code involved the elimination of overt references to extra-marital sex and the blackening of Veda's character. "Monte's" murder was added by the screenwriters for dramatic purposes. See more »
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 »
[on the opening of Mildred's restaurant]
This is just like my wedding night, so exciting!
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The opening credits are presented with a background ocean scene that "washes" the credits on the screen. See more »
This gets high points for the fine acting, memorable characters and successfully melding a film noir with a soap opera. The movie is very interesting all the way through but if stupid and/or annoying characters get to you, then don't bother with this because there are some big-time fools in this film who are guaranteed to raise your blood pressure! There are six major characters in this film, only one of which I can find no fault. Three people are totally despicable, one is nice and sensible, and two are somewhere in the middle.
NICE AND SENSIBLE - Eve Arden, who provides the humor and common sense consistently. For those Baby Boomers who remember her as TV''s "Our Miss Brooks," that's what she is here: same voice, same wise cracks.
HORRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS - Ann Blyth, the Daughter from Hell, one of the worst spoiled kids in the history of film. Zachary Scott as Mildred's second husband, a slimy, gold-bricking bum who has absolutely no morals. Jack Carson as the way-too-horny slob and ruthless businessman/lawyer .
IN THE MIDDLE - The lead character, Mildred Pierce, played by Joan Crawford. Her good characteristics: hard-worker, good business sense (until the end) and very devoted mother. Her bad characteristics: absolutely no sense of judgment on how to raise kids or what a marriage is all about. Bad hairdo, too! Bruce Bennett as Mildred's first husband. Good - has common sense regarding the kids, shows forgiveness and loyalty at the end. Bad - cheats on his wife to begin with and walks out.
Note: Get the DVD. It's a beautiful transfer: nice sharp picture with good contrasts.
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