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Part Five 

TV-MA | | Drama | Episode aired 10 April 2011
Mildred is quite proud of Veda's accomplishments as a singer but finds that her daughter refuses to take her phone calls or respond to any of her letters. She and Monty Beragon spend some ... See full summary »



(novel), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Erwin Falcon ...
Wally Burgan (as James LeGros)
Eric Goldberg ...
Delivery Boy
Leslie Lyles ...
Mrs. Jaeckel


Mildred is quite proud of Veda's accomplishments as a singer but finds that her daughter refuses to take her phone calls or respond to any of her letters. She and Monty Beragon spend some time together and she decides to buy his old family mansion. They also decide to marry and is thrilled when Monty arranges for Veda to come to the reception and sing for them. Success has only inflated Veda's ego however. She has many offers whether it be to endorse products or sing in New York City. Mildred however suffers a serious business setback when the restaurant in Laguna Beach starts to lose money. She's also had to increase her personal expenses to cover her expenses. She learns that Wally Burgan and Ida are quite prepared to push her aside. Mildred has been spending her money on Veda and her ex-husband Bert suggests that Veda will just have to contribute more. Her world comes crashing down when she returns home unexpectedly. It's a new beginning for Mildred who ends up re-marrying an old ... Written by garykmcd

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10 April 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Operatic pieces performed in the movie deviated from that of the book. Author James Cain's mother was an operatic singer and he carefully selected the pieces used in the book. The filmmakers decided to use a selection that more closely paralleled the conflict between mother and daughter. One selection is the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's "Magic Flute". The aria features a daughter that clashes wills against her possessive mother. See more »


As Mildred and Monty are driving around looking at properties they pass by two brick houses, the second one with a Rolls-Royce coupe in the drive sitting in front of a white garage. The camera angle changes into the car and then the next camera angle is slightly pulled away but they pass by the exact same two houses with the same Rolls-Royce in the drive. See more »


Veda Pierce: Does it make a difference what she thinks? Or what she pays for?
Monty Beragon: You thought you held the strings on everybody, didn't you? You thought you could come around and dress me up and use me as bait to lure your famous daughter back to the teat!
Mildred Pierce: No.
Monty Beragon: But it was live bait, Mildred. It was live bait! And guess what? This time the quarry and the bait fell in love! No kidding! And for the first time in your life, there's nothing, you hear me, nothing you can do about it!
Veda Pierce: Darling, please. All this ...
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Featured in The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (2011) See more »


The Bridal Chorus
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by Sumi Jo
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User Reviews

What's a mother to do?
3 May 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Mildred misses Veda, so she goes to see Treviso, the man that 'discovered' her daughter. She offers to pay for the singing lessons, something that is refused by the conductor. Treviso compares Veda to a bitch. After all, he reasons, she is a 'coloratura' soprano.

Mildred happens to run into Monty Beragon in an unfashionable part of town. He looks as though he is going through a lean period. Mildred makes an unwise decision when she asks Monty to help out in looking for a house in tonier Pasadena, where he is an authority. Monty's house has been in the market for a while. Mildred loves the house at first sight, so she decides to buy it.

The restoration of the mansion in Pasadena eats quite a lot of Mildred's budget. She starts losing track of the business, taking sums for the decoration. The house comes with the marriage of Mildred and Monty. At the reception for their wedding, Mildred is surprised by the singing she hears. It is Veda, the prodigal daughter who feels quite at home with the new, and ritzier neighborhood.

Veda has an upcoming presentation at the Philharmonic. Treviso is conducting. It is more like a recital in which Veda's talents are displayed. At the end, one executive offers Veda a contract, but she is stopped short by her agent who has already signed her to a less attractive contract.

Veda continues to live in the new luxury she finds in Pasadena. Mildred starts to get pressure from the creditors. Wally comes back to haunt her in a legal maneuver. He recognized in Ida the perfect substitute for Mildred. As a result, Mildred stands to lose the business she started. The betrayal of Wally is too much for her. Bert, who always stayed by Mildred's side presses her to ask Veda for help, something that is out of the question.

After seeing Bert, Mildred goes home to have a serious conversation with Veda. She looks in her daughter's room, but Veda is not to be found. Finally, she decides to check with Monty, who tries to avoid opening the door to the room. To Mildred's surprise, Veda is seen naked in bed. Mildred goes ballistic and orders them out.

Mildred and Bert reconcile their differences and remarry. At the Glendale home, a small party has been organized to celebrate their union. Veda arrives unexpectedly to tell her mother she is leaving for New York. Mildred finally realizes what this girl has done to her and tells her to go to hell. A mother's sacrifice never was appreciated by the ungrateful Veda.

This last episode of the mini series takes a different turn from the original. There are a lot of things that do not make sense. Take the Philharmonic sequence, for instance. The creators make it a sort of a musical show that in real life never happens. The full orchestra is always on stage and the singer is just another member of the ensemble.

Up to this point, the adaptation was more or less somewhat believable, but the creators decided to go a different route that is quite a departure with the novel. All in all, the series was good, but the last installment left a lot to be desired. That said, Todd Haynes, the director has to be given credit for the atmospheric adaptation he got out of the novel.

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