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Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | | 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.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
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Popularity
4,721 ( 2,956)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Mildred Pierce
Jack Carson ... Wally Fay
Zachary Scott ... Monte Beragon
Eve Arden ... Ida Corwin
Ann Blyth ... Veda Pierce
Bruce Bennett ... Bert Pierce
Lee Patrick ... Mrs. Maggie Biederhof
Moroni Olsen ... Inspector Peterson
Veda Ann Borg ... Miriam Ellis
Jo Ann Marlowe Jo Ann Marlowe ... Kay Pierce
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Storyline

When Mildred Pierce's out-of-work 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El suplicio de una madre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,453,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Carson was also considered for the part of Monte. See more »

Goofs

The placement of the hat-stand after Bert arrives home. See more »

Quotes

Mildred: I'm sorry I did that... I'd've rather cut off my hand!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Also shown in computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Designing Women: Nude Julia, New York Morning (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played and sung at Wally's club toward the beginning
Also played when Veda and Ted are at Wally's club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melodramatic and proud of it...
17 March 2002 | by gaityrSee all my reviews

The story that unfolds in Mildred Pierce is complicated and dark, and at its darkest, is a chilling portrait of a mother so devoted to her children (well, child, really) that she would go to any and all lengths for them. Although some of the situations and scenes suffer from the passage of time (the modern audience in the cinema, myself included, couldn't help laughing at some of the more ludicrous things said/done), the film as a whole worked, mostly on the strength of the performances.

Joan Crawford won her only Oscar for her role, and it was well-deserved--she held the film together with a confident performance that ranged from charming and sassy, to desperate and almost frightening. The final scenes of the film, especially, captured Mildred at her most pathetic, and Crawford looked utterly despondent in the telephone scene. Ann Blyth is utterly convincing as the spoilt, deeply disturbed Veda, narcissistic and unrelentingly manipulative of her mother. And the best supporting performance had to come from Eve Arden, who played Mildred's friend Ida--Arden saunters across the screen, stealing scenes left and right, before disappearing from view again. She was excellent!

The film is well worth the watch--not brilliant, but definitely very good. I also like the story-telling technique and the direction (the director made quite clever and frequent use of shadows and mirrors), and it's good that the darkness and melodrama was frequently mitigated by the well-written dialogue. 8/10.


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