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Mildred Pierce (1945)

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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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

Other than a brief appearance in Hollywood Canteen (1944), this film was the first that Joan Crawford made for Warner Bros. 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

Mildred: And just what do you do, Mr Beragon?
Monte: I loaf, in a decorative and highly charming manner.
Mildred: Is that all?
Monte: With me, loafing is a science.
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 Feud: The Other Woman (2017) 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

Film Noir Classic
21 August 2002 | by Tommy-5See all my reviews

Joan Crawford won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the title character in this 1945 offering by Warner Brothers. Ms. Crawford was in her prime then and members of my generation, who remember her in films such as 1968's Berserk and 1970's Trog, are sometimes surprised to learn how attractive and talented she was in her heyday. The mean-spirited commentary of her life which we have been subjected to since her death in 1977 notwithstanding, still there was a certain hard edge to her personality which shown through in her screen roles. That she was able to win filmdom's greatest prize by playing a willing victim and vulnerable woman is perhaps the greatest tribute to her abilities as an artist. At any rate, she was the star of this film noir classic, a story that holds up well after 57 years. Mildred Pierce was an ordinary housewife of the era. No skills, relied on her husband for sustenance and leadership and was crushed when he ditched her for another woman. Her daughters were her whole life, doting unhealthily on Veda, the older one, especially (a very young Ann Blyth, herself nominated for Best Supporting Actress for this film). But, Veda was a schemer, conniver and social climber from the word go and it was ultimately her actions which brought an interesting human interest story to a thunderous climax. The story fascinates as we see Crawford, through iron will and determination, become an independent, successful business woman even as she makes tragic error after tragic error in her personal life. Mildred Pierce really is a rare animal, as it truly is more of a human interest story than any other in the film noir genre. The cast is great: Jack Carson, outstanding as Mildred's lifelong friend and would-be suitor, Bruce Bennett as Mildred's nice but weak-willed husband, Zachary Scott as the caddish successor to Bruce Bennett for Mildred's affections, and Eve Arden (still another nomination for Best Supporting Actress) in one of her trademark roles as a no nonsense gal pal. In Mildred Pierce, we have murder, love, misguided love, love not reciprocated, jealousy, misunderstanding, and good intentions/bad results. Could it be this film is so intriguing because we see in our own lives one or more of these very human conditions?


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