Monday, November 25, 2013

Mildred Pierce

1945 American Feature

Cast: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett and Butterfly McQueen
Director: Michael Curtiz
Writers: Ranald MacDougall and (uncredited) William Faulkner, Margaret Gruen, Albert Maltz, Louise Randall Pierson, Catherine Turney, Margaret Buell Wilder and Thames Williamson, based on the novel by James M. Cain

After her cheating husband leaves her, Mildred Pierce proves she can become an independent and successful businesswoman but can't win the approval of her spoiled, ungrateful daughter.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 82% / Audience: 90%
  • OMG rating: 8/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award for Best Actress (Crawford); also nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Arden and Blyth), Screenplay and Black and White Cinematography.
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Actress (Crawford).

  • James M. Cain's novel Mildred Pierce was first published in 1941. The novel's sex scenes were eliminated in its adaptation to film due to Hollywood censorship at the time.
  • Working Title: House on the Sand.
  • Casting Call: Ralph Bellamy, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine, Ann Sheridan, Barbara Stanwyck and Shirley Temple.
  • Joan Crawford actively campaigned for the lead role in Mildred Pierce, which most lead actresses didn't want because being the mother of a teenage daughter implied being of a certain age. Director Michael Curtiz, who was against casting Crawford (he considered her a "has-been" at the time), insisted that she do a screen test, which convinced him and landed Crawford what became her "signature role".
  • Nominated for Best Actress, Joan Crawford did not attend the Academy Award ceremony because she was home in bed with pneumonia. However, many believe that Crawford faked her illness because she did not think she would win and didn't want to attend the ceremony only to lose. Reportedly after it was announced that she won the Oscar, she jumped out of bed, did her make up and put on her best negligee to meet the press.
  • In 1996, Mildred Pierce was inducted into the National Film Registry.
  • In 2011, Mildred Pierce was adapted into a television mini-series. Directed by Todd Haynes and starring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood and Melissa Leo, it won five Emmy Awards.

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