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.
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
Joan Crawford's tour-de-force as a self-sacrificing mother is a real stunner. Directed by Michael Curtiz, and based on James M.Cain's steamy novel, "Mildred Pierce" is a slick stylish sudser that ranks among the best.
After a decade-long streak at MGM, Crawford, made her way over to Warner Bros. It was a brilliant move as Crawford won an Oscar (as Mildred) and ended up back on top.
As the title character, Crawford brings a sense of steely determination and guts. As a devoted housewife, Mildred puts the needs of her family first. So when her husband (Bruce Bennett) begins a sleazy affair with a woman down the street, Mildred kicks him out and starts life anew. Nothing - not even one daughter's death and another daughter's selfishness - stops Mildred from working her way to the top. She goes from waitress in a greasy diner to the wealthy owner of a successful restaurant chain. But despite her achievements, Mildred must contend with a slimy lover (Zachary Scott) and her increasingly vile and spoiled daughter, Veda (Ann Blyth). All the drama comes to a rousing climax, which culminates in a physical altercation between brat and mom.
Crawford's gut-wrenchingly sympathetic performance draws you in, and the sparks that she and the wonderful Blyth create are unforgettable. Also, a playful Eve Arden as Mildred's pal, spouts off some terrific dialogue.
"Mildred Pierce" is an exceptional piece of work that uses some of the finest elements of classic cinema. The story moves along at a sleek pace, and thanks to the writers, "Mildred" never sinks in the froth of its own soapiness. A powerful, emotional cinematic experience.
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