1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2010
ok theres more in the book, but this is THE Joan Crawford film of films.Brilliant camera work(shades of film noir).Eve Arden is her wonderful usual wise cracking self,Joan gives her best performance EVER. In fact the whole ensemble gells into a perfect whole.One of those movies you simply cant imagine any one else doing and I'm not a joan crawford fan! Get it while you can
on 29 July 2013
Don't be put off by the functional title. Way ahead of its time, this imposing film looks at the far-reaching consequences of what can happen when filial love goes awry to the point of obsession. Elegantly crafted plot, beautifully filmed and with cracking dialogue, it revived Joan Crawford's career, apparently, but what is surprising that the supporting cast did not go on to become major stars as well. The characters - by turns deluded, slimy and hedonistic, calculating and greedy, downright nasty, amusing, genuine and loyal - are all completely authentic and believable, as is the wrangling over love and property. An outstanding soundtrack which also includes an ingenious sequence featuring the interminable silence and echoing clatter of a desolate police station in the middle of the night completes the masterpiece. We were glued to the screen watching it and I was still thinking about it the day after: it's the kind of film that stays with you.
on 21 November 2014
Joan Crawford plays Mildred Pierce, a housewife, and mother of two daughters, who doesn't have much money, her marriage is in turmoil, (her husband is cheating on her) and her eldest daughter Veda, played by Ann Blyth, is an ungrateful precocious brat. When she separates from her husband Bert, played by Bruce Bennett, she gets a job as a waitress in a restaurant. Eventually, she learns the restaurant business, and opens her own. Before long, she has opened a chain of restaurants.
If you like old American Black & White films from the 40's or film noir, you will enjoy this. Joan Crawford plays a good part as the struggling Mildred Pierce. There are no scratches, marks or blemishes on the print used for the transfer, and has a good tonal range for the Black & White cinematography.
Picture Quality is good, the film has been transferred in it's original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. Sound is in the original mono.
on 19 November 2014
I was a dark, cold night. A night for madmen, heroes, and villains. And I was in the mood for some film noir. I picked up the DVD box, took out the shiny disc and slipped it into the machine. It whirred, it purred, and a black & white classic was projected onto the back wall of my home cinema.
I can't believe that I've never seen 'Mildred Pierce' before. This movie had somehow slipped through the net and had only come to my attention because I'd recently read a book about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
This is a satisfying thriller. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I liked Joan's eyebrows and I liked Joan's lips; I liked her shoulder pads and her shapely hips. But she's more than just eye candy for a middle-aged film buff - she actually acts a bit in the movie.
Most people who like the genre would probably give it 4 out of 5. But I'm feelin' kinda generous tonight. So, shoot me!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2011
This film is without a doubt on of the best films I've come across yet! The storyline is great, the dialogue is well written and cinematography is also fantastic! Crawford is just incredible in the role and for me, no one will ever be able to play the character of Mildred Pierce in the same way she did!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Mildred Pierce is directed by Michael Curtiz and adapted from the James M. Cain novel by Ranald MacDougall, William Faulkner and Catherine Turney. It stars Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett and Eve Arden. Music is by Max Steiner and the cinematographer is Ernest Haller. It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and won just the one for Crawford in the Best Actress category.
Plot finds Crawford as Mildred Pierce, a devoted Mother of two girls who struggles to not only make her marriage work, but to also keep her eldest daughter, Veda (Blyth), in the luxurious life she demands. Murder, treachery and heartache is about to dog the Pierce family....
Mildred Pierce is of course the film that is often remembered for being the film that saved Joan Crawford`s career. After being dumped by MGM, and tagged with being box office poison, Crawford, it seemed, was destined to be the latest visitor to the acting scrap heap. But Jerry Wald over at Warner Brothers had other ideas. The part of Mildred had been offered to some of the big hitting ladies on the Warner studio lot, Stanwyck, Davies and Sheridan are just three of the names known to have shied away from the role. The feeling was that playing a woman with a mid-teen daughter was a no go for the age proud ladies. But Crawford, just entering her forties, took the role on, and in spite of initial protestations from director Curtiz, gave a terrific performance that landed her the coveted golden statuette and prolonged her film career for another 25 years.
Blending the psychological aspects of the woman`s picture with the physical edges of film noir, Mildred Pierce is something of a unique picture. Very popular on release (it was a box office smash), it was thought that Cain`s source novel wouldn`t transfer well to the screen. Credit then to the writers for managing to create such an intriguing and watchable piece. True, they have had to tone down aspects from the book, and even added incidents and changed characters, but the essence is right and the timing couldn`t have been more perfect for such a story. As film noir was becoming a telling genre in film making, Mildred Pierce also coincided with the later stages of WWII; A time when the role of the Woman, either in the service or at home, was under scrutiny. One of the great things about the film, and the performance of Crawford, is that it cobbles together many character strands of the 40s woman: in life and in film noir. She`s a Suzy homemaker type, asked to be mother and wife, yet driven to be a business woman because she feels she`s lacking in the necessary in the family home. Where the film gets its noir flecks from is that Mildred may also be a murderer, a femme fatale, a woman whose every decision spells trouble. It`s as if the makers (not just here but many others at the time) are saying that a woman`s place is in the home, doing homely family stuff. Intriguing for sure, not necessarily in good taste, but an added spice into the melodramatic cooking pot that already contains greed and obsession.
Told with a flashback structure, the film is smoothly directed by the versatile Curtiz. But both he and Crawford are aided considerably across the board, not least by a truly great "Bitch" performance from Blyth. Veda is at one detestable, spoilt and mean, the daughter from hell, a status-seeking brat whose love comes at enormous cost to those who dare to get close to her. Blyth revels in it and her play off with Crawford is one of the film`s major strengths. The support cast of Scott, Carson, Arden and Bennett are excellent value, while Steiner`s music is unobtrusive and able to shift freely with the narrative twists. Finally it`s left to Hallers photography to capture the feel and mood of the unfolding story. Shifting from sunny suburbia one moment to shadowy expressionistic bleakness the next, the photographer of such notable film`s like Gone With the Wind and Rebel Without a Cause, is integral to the moody excellence of Mildred Pierce.
A murder mystery flanked by asides of class distinction, bad parenting, dubious sexual leanings and pure greed. Yep, Mildred Pierce is no ordinary movie: And hooray for that. 8.5/10