Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 25 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Kate Winslet ...  Mildred Pierce 5 episodes, 2011
Brían F. O'Byrne ...  Bert Pierce 5 episodes, 2011
Melissa Leo ...  Lucy Gessler 5 episodes, 2011
James Le Gros ...  Wally Burgan 5 episodes, 2011
Mare Winningham ...  Ida Corwin 5 episodes, 2011
Marin Ireland ...  Letty 5 episodes, 2011
Murphy Guyer ...  Mr. Pierce 4 episodes, 2011
Guy Pearce ...  Monty Beragon 5 episodes, 2011
Diane Kagan Diane Kagan ...  Mrs. Pierce 4 episodes, 2011
Christopher Koron Christopher Koron ...  Archie 4 episodes, 2011
Morgan Turner Morgan Turner ...  Veda Pierce 3 episodes, 2011
Halley Feiffer ...  Arline 3 episodes, 2011
Hope Davis ...  Mrs. Forrester 3 episodes, 2011
Miriam Shor ...  Anna 3 episodes, 2011
Robb Webb Robb Webb ...  Radio Announcer 3 episodes, 2011
Margaret Hall Margaret Hall ...  Mrs. Floyd 3 episodes, 2011
Quinn McColgan ...  Ray Pierce 2 episodes, 2011
Erwin Falcon Erwin Falcon ...  Pancho 3 episodes, 2011
Elvy ...  Sigrid 3 episodes, 2011
Laura Esterman Laura Esterman ...  Mrs. Kramer 3 episodes, 2011
Till Schauder Till Schauder ...  Hans 3 episodes, 2011
Evan Rachel Wood ...  Veda Pierce 2 episodes, 2011
Evan Thompson Evan Thompson ...  Man with a Cap 2 episodes, 2011
Brenda Wehle ...  Mrs. Turner 2 episodes, 2011
Ronald Guttman ...  Carlo Treviso 2 episodes, 2011
Ken Jennings Ken Jennings ...  Small Man 2 episodes, 2011
Todd Aubrey Davis Todd Aubrey Davis ...  Houseman 2 episodes, 2011
Tommy Nelson ...  Newsboy 2 episodes, 2011
MacKenzie Meehan ...  Cashier 2 episodes, 2011
Remy Auberjonois ...  Starched Collar Man 2 episodes, 2011
Matthew Foster ...  Starched Collar Man 2 episodes, 2011
Marceline Hugot ...  Table Two Woman 2 episodes, 2011
Rocco Sisto ...  Mr. Rossi 2 episodes, 2011
Kaili Vernoff ...  Table Two Woman 2 episodes, 2011
Annette Arnold ...  Waitress Annette 2 episodes, 2011
Laura Rosenthal Laura Rosenthal ...  Waitress Doris 2 episodes, 2011
Mark Margolis ...  Mr. Chris 2 episodes, 2011
Darlene Violette ...  Waitress Darlene 2 episodes, 2011
Orlagh Cassidy ...  Woman 1 2 episodes, 2011
Emily Cass McDonnell ...  Woman 2 2 episodes, 2011
Scott Robertson ...  Mr. Rand 2 episodes, 2011
Bradley Mott ...  Mr. Rice 2 episodes, 2011
Mary Bacon ...  Young Mother 2 episodes, 2011
Bob McClure Bob McClure ...  Businessman 2 episodes, 2011
Sam Kitchin ...  Customer 2 episodes, 2011
Rachel Darden Bennett ...  Shirley 2 episodes, 2011
Lena Dunham ...  Nurse 1 2 episodes, 2011
Peter McRobbie ...  Dr. Gale 2 episodes, 2011
Susan Millard ...  Nurse 2 2 episodes, 2011
Max Brand ...  Orderly 2 episodes, 2011
Victor Slezak ...  Dr. Collins 2 episodes, 2011
Margaret Reed ...  Maggie Biederhof 2 episodes, 2011
Paul Pilcz ...  Tommy 1 episode, 2011
Leslie Lyles Leslie Lyles ...  Mrs. Jaeckel 2 episodes, 2011


Glendale, California, 1931: Mildred Pierce, a young mother with a talent for baking, is left a "grass widow" after throwing her husband, Bert, out of the house. Forced to hunt for work to support herself and her two young daughters, 11-year-old Veda and seven-year-old Ray, Mildred visits an employment agency, only to encounter job opportunities she feels are beneath her. Amidst her job search, she receives dating advice from her friend and neighbor, Lucy Gessler, and begins an unexpected affair with an ex-business partner of her husband's, Wally Burgan. When Mildred receives a call from the agency regarding an opening as a housekeeper to a wealthy socialite, she reluctantly agrees to meet with her. After cutting the acerbic interview short, Mildred seeks refuge at a local diner, Cristofor's Café, where fate, and a waitress named Ida, will play a role in shaping her future. Written by HBO Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Having It All Would Cost Her Everything.




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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Kate Winslet had 66 different costume changes throughout the series. See more »


Referenced in Happy Endings: Baby Steps (2011) See more »

User Reviews

American Opera
19 April 2011 | by BenjAiiSee all my reviews

I should start by saying, although I've never read the James M Cain novel, as a fan of classic golden era Hollywood films I love the original version of Mildred Pierce.

That didn't stop me enjoying Todd Hayne's new miniseries. It was fun to see the story retold and this is first class film-making for TV that easily outclasses a great deal of what gets pumped out for contemporary cinema. It's hard to say anything bad about the great cast and a beautifully photographed and realized recreation of 1930's Los Angeles.

Many reviewers seem to be posing the question Why? to a remake of this particular story. On one level there are obvious similarities to the Great Depression and the present times we live in coloured by an ongoing financial crisis. So is this a parable for our times ? Is there some deeper symbolic meaning to this storytelling that illuminates aspects of society ?

From what I've read of the novel, it seems this may have been James Cain's intention. Although Mildred Pierce is credited as his most ambitious work no one has ever mentioned it in the same breath as "great American novel". Is Mildred's vain pursuit of Veda's love and approval an allegory for ordinary folks pursuit of a chimerical and ultimately false credit card maxed "good life", that is ultimately a betrayal of who they really are and their true values Maybe?, maybe not.

It seems clear we are to think of Mildred as an tragic heroine on an operatic scale. Someone who's one blindness and weakness, her love for an ungrateful daughter, is her kismet and will be her ultimate downfall. But the story never really succeeds on this level and it's telling that it seems so well suited to it's styling as a Joan Crawford melodrama.

What's stopping it ? I think the problem is for this story to touch the greatness it's striving for this that its two central characters are never quite believable. Veda comes off as an almost cartoon or pantomime baddie. On the one hand we can understand (if not sympathize) with her disgust of lower middle class Glendale and aspirations for the finer things in life. But this never explains the level of hatred and sadism she displays towards her mother. Perhaps there is no explanation for this, the Italian teacher who so aptly sums her up is right, perhaps she's just an exceptional one off, a beautiful poisonous snake to be admired from afar, but never touched.

Even if we except this and take Veda's exceptional malevolence as believable the problem is that Mildred's character doesn't quite gel either. In almost every other area of her life we see Mildred as not only being clever, resourceful and capable but exceptionally so. The story of her entrepreneurial rise to success shows her dealing with people and situations with insight and astuteness. Yet this so completely deserts her when dealing with her daughter ?

Of course that's supposed to be the whole point of the story and in the tradition of capable heros with ruinous great flaws, something she can do nothing about. It's just that somehow here it never seems to quite work on the subconscious level these stories need to succeed at if they are to satisfyingly tap into the great archetypal themes they are aiming to communicate with.

So maybe Joan Crawford's version wins in the end, never the less HBO's mini-series is well worth a spin as a very superior soap opera told with cinematic flair.

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Release Date:

27 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mildred Pierce See more »

Filming Locations:

Blauvelt, New York, USA See more »

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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