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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

Complete credited cast:
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Jo Ann Marlowe ...

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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

Production Co:

 »
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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

A theme heard throughout the film and especial noticeable when Monty and Mildred kiss by the fire on their first meeting, was written by Max Steiner originally for Now, Voyager (1942). See more »

Goofs

Mildred's house on Corvallis Street in Glendale is shown as a one-story Spanish-style bungalow, however the interior has a staircase leading to the bedrooms. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Peterson: Mrs. Beragon, being a detective is like, well, like making an automobile. You take all the pieces and put them together one by one. First thing you know, you got an automobile or a murderer. And we got him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 40th Annual Academy Awards (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

How Sweet You Are
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Played when Veda and Ted are dancing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joan Crawford's Signature Role
2 October 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

With those broad shoulders, those wall-to-wall eyebrows, that steely look on her face, and wrapped in those expensive clothes, the inimitable Joan Crawford exudes glamour and resolve as famed Mildred Pierce, housewife turned businesswoman, in this Michael Curtiz-directed film, part mystery, part melodrama.

The film's story, told in flashbacks, begins with mystery, and it is helped along by terrific B&W lighting. Most of the rest of the story is sheer melodrama, with talky dialogue that erupts from confrontations between various characters. The most important confrontations occur between Mildred and her ungrateful, scheming daughter Veda, who requires tons of money to be happy. As the story moves along, Mildred buys and successfully operates a restaurant, but it's not enough to win approval from her odious daughter. Mildred's love for Veda is deep. But Mildred, we learn, is also a take-charge woman who won't take any guff from anyone, at least from caddy suitors or prospective in-laws.

It's a great story. And in addition to the topnotch cinematography, the film has great production design, costumes, and editing. We're also treated to some pleasantly nostalgic music from the 1940s. Crawford gets good support performances from Ann Blyth, Eve Arden, and Jack Carson. I also liked Butterfly McQueen, the little lady with the high-pitched voice who plays Mildred's maid.

I suspect this film would have been worthy of praise, even with someone else playing the title character; the film is that good. But no other actress would have had the stage presence of the impressive Joan Crawford. It's mostly because of her that "Mildred Pierce" will be remembered and loved, for generations to come. It's also partly because of "Mildred Pierce" that Joan Crawford will be admired as a Hollywood legend, for generations to come.


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