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Mildred Pierce (1945)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  20 October 1945 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,923 users  
Reviews: 271 user | 71 critic

After her cheating husband leaves her, Mildred Pierce proves she can become independent and successful, but cannot seem to win the approval of her spoiled daughter.

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(screenplay), (novel), 7 more credits »
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Title: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Mildred Pierce (1945) on IMDb 8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Mildred Pierce (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.

Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former child star torments her crippled sister in a decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
Laura (1944)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Possessed (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After being found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, a severely catatonic woman tells a doctor the complex story of how she wound up there.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey
Gaslight (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
Gilda (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Johnny Farrell is a gambling cheat who turns straight to work for an unsettling casino owner Ballin Mundson. But things take a turn for Johnny as his alluring ex-lover appears as Mundson's wife, and Mundson's machinations begin to unravel.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Sudden Fear (1952)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After an ambitious actor insinuates himself into the life of a wealthy middle-aged playwright and marries her, he plots with his mistress to murder her.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Now, Voyager (1942)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Boston spinster blossoms under therapy and finds impossible romance.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
Zachary Scott ...
...
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...
Lee Patrick ...
Moroni Olsen ...
Veda Ann Borg ...
Jo Ann Marlowe ...
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Storyline

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 luxury, 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 only after Monte has sold... Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The kind of Woman most men want - but shouldn't have! 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:

Alma em Suplício  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,453,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Monty's Beach House, used in the key opening scene and several others, was actually owned by the film's director, Michael Curtiz. It was built in 1929 and stood at 26652 Latigo Shore Dr. in Malibu. It collapsed into the ocean after a week of heavy storms in January 1983. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene where Mildred drives up to Monte Beragon's beach house, the top of one of the crew's head can be seen on the passenger's side. When he realizes that they've started shooting, he quickly ducks down. See more »

Quotes

Wally: Not too much ice in that drink you're about to make for me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in 'White Christmas': A Look Back with Rosemary Clooney (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Think of Me
(uncredited)
Written by Murray Mencher, Russ Morgan and Benny Davis
Played on the jukebox at Mildred's restaurant
Sung briefly by Jack Carson
See more »

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User Reviews

'Please Don't Tell What Mildred Pierce Did!'
31 March 2004 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

James M Cain's novel 'Mildred Pierce' was much tougher, dirtier, violent and cynical than the gorgeously mounted movie it became, but the film still manages to maintain enough of the flavor of the book to be interesting. The portrait of working class life in Southern California works well, as does the depiction of a marriage that breaks down because of disappointment and resentment rather than anything melodramatic. Within its first hour MILDRED PIERCE captures something anxious about American life and marriages and families that is more true than most of what movies had shown up to that time, and it would prove to be even more so in the postwar world to come. The movie actually becomes more false and synthetic as it moves into Mildred's rise in life, but by then the plot and characters have taken hold.

And so has the film's increasingly bleak look at what women can expect when they live and work alone in a man's world, beset by men who want to exploit them, sexually and otherwise. This too, though softened from the book, would have seemed refreshingly frank to many of viewers at that time.

What raises the film to the level of classic is the first class work from every professional in every department. Joan Crawford is not much more expressive here than she was in her later MGM pictures, but this character suits her limited talents so well that she seems better than in almost anything else she did. All her Warners pictures used her more effectively than MGM usually managed to do, perhaps because in them she is invariably exploited, abused, maligned, even tortured. The bad behavior her Warners characters inspire in others is so extreme that she doesn't need to be. These plots do what Adrian's sometimes garish clothes did for her at MGM: they give her a personality, make her seem more interesting than she really was, and they make her sympathetic despite her essential coldness. Crawford gets able support from Ann Blyth, Eve Arden (as comedy relief; she is almost appearing in another movie entirely), Zachary Scott and especially Jack Carson, dead-on as a sweaty hustler and low rent lothario, bringing nuance to what could have been a one-note portrayal. Bruce Bennett isn't really a good actor in the role of Mildred's first husband, but he's perfectly cast -- he looks like an Okie from one of Dorothea Lange's photographs who went west to 'make it' and never did.

And as has been frequently mentioned here, Ernest Haller's cinematography (especially in the brilliant prints now being shown on cable) is consistently evocative and beautiful. So many of his shots live in the memory: in the scene where a mink wearing, gun wielding Mildred comes upon Monte and Vida kissing, the image is an almost primal one of betrayal and glamor -- the way their profiles are in darkness, the way Ann Blyth arches back against the bar, the hard, dim glitter of lame and the billows of tulle from her gown. The way Vida tumbles forward into almost blinding lamplight while Monte's face hardens behind her -- these are the kinds of wonderful images the best old films regularly delivered. Also excellent is Anton Grot's art direction, opulent but still managing to help create the particular SoCal atmosphere of this picture. And as usual, Max Steiner's score is effective, but as an earlier poster noted, he recycled a couple of motifs from his Oscar-winning score to NOW, VOYAGER. And director Michael Curtiz must be praised for keeping everything in perfect balance. This is one of the most admired '40s pictures and well worth a look.


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Recent Posts
Say something nice about Veda harry-47
Best line in the movie..... Asquani
why was Mildred so blind about Veda? PSVillas
Wally was a hottie ! LadyLion
Anything Redeeming in Veda? Alix1929
Should Shirley Temple have played Veda? darlakarla
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