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Mildred Pierce

Joan Crawford , Jack Carson , Michael Curtiz    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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For a full dose of pure, unfiltered Joan Crawford, look no further than this slab of scorching film noir. Crawford is in her element as the heroine of James M. Cain's pulp-fiction classic, a ditched wife and mother who is forced to become a waitress. On the strength of Crawford's steely willpower (and maybe those intimidating wide-wing shoulder pads), she constructs an empire of eateries, only to be disappointed by her rotten daughter (Ann Blyth) and a ferret-faced new husband (Zachary Scott). Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) whips up a storm of atmosphere, and the script is a series of tartly written exchanges. The best lines go to perennial wisecracker Eve Arden, as Crawford's acid-tongued pal--she earned her only Oscar nomination for the role. Commenting on the ungrateful daughter, Arden says, "Alligators have the right idea. They eat their young." Crawford herself took home the best actress Oscar, and the film was a triumphant personal comeback: her longtime studio MGM had released her from her contract before Mildred Pierce came along. Is this great acting? (Pauline Kael called it "heavy breathing.") Whatever Joan Crawford is doing in this movie, it's movie presence at its most formidable. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Crawford May 21 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Here is the story of your average post-World War II housewife who believes that nothing is too good--or too much--for her two precious daughters. By the time this great soap opera is over, she has buried one child, experienced the murder of a cheating, mooching sleazeball of a husband, sent the other daughter off to prison, and gone into bankruptcy. But at least Eve Arden's character is good for a few laughs. At the end, though, she seems to reconcile with her first husband, whom she kicked out of the house in the first reel for losing his job. It's nice to know one can sometimes start out all over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Old-Movie Fans May 5 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Everyone who has a weakness for old movies should have this one in his/her collection.
Steely Joan Crawford evokes sympathy as an abandoned, financially-strapped wife and mother, though you know all along that Mildred will make it somehow.
Make it she does, stumbling into the restaurant business and making a success of it in spite of the fact that men find her so darned irresistible that she has to stop and peel one off every few steps.
Adding to Mildred's troubles is the fact that oldest daughter Vida(played by dewy-eyed young beauty Ann Blyth) has become an insufferable snob somewhere along the line, in spite of her middle-class upbringing. Mildred worships Vida, in spie of the fact that Vida is moody, verbally abusive, and impossible to please.Vida wants to be "rich", but when Mildred makes lots of money, it still doesn't suit Vida because her mother worked (ew, yuck) for it. You wish that Mildred would shake her, or at least ground her.
Eve Arden, one of my all-time favorites, is her usual wonderful self as Mildred's shrewd secretary and loyal friend.
Butterfly McQueen gets wasted once again in the role of the family's maid.
Even if you're not a Joan Crawford fan, buy this one; it makes terrific rainy-night viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True classic! Jan. 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I've seen many movies of Joan Crawford, but I think that this movie gives a true glimpse of her character (not at all portrayed in "Mommie Dearest"). This movie shows Joan as a caring loving woman to her husband and children, a mother who will go to any length to have a better life for her and her family, who seems to show true emotion and tears when her little daughter dies, to win her daughter Veda's love -- even to go as far enough to protect her when Veda does murder! Realistically, if I acted that way, my mother would have made true those words, "Get out before I kill you." LOL It's a classic that's not to be missed. Strike up the fireplace, put your feet up on the couch, get your hanky ready and enjoy this classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Eve with Joan & Mildred Dec 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Watching Mildred Pierce became (somehow) a Christmas Eve tradition for me a few years ago. A classic battle-of-wills story, you can't help cheering for Mildred when she tells her scheming, selfish daughter "Get out before I kill you!" (the little tramp comes back though). Great fun and melodrama.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The original Mildred Pierce wins Jan. 22 2014
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I ordered this move after I watched the mini series based on the Mildred Pierce story. I found the mini-series to be attenuated, bland and the acting was surprisingly stilted. This movie version starring Joan Crawford is as I remembered it, stylized black and white, slightly delightfully melodramatic and very much a classic of its era. It wins hands down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood at its best Sept. 15 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is another fine example of Hollywood at its best. The movie is well-acted and a great story. I've watched it time and time again. A definite must for those who enjoy movies from this era, but I probably don't have to say that because they already know. If you are just venturing into this era, then this would be a fine one to add to your collection. Great support acting by two of the best: Jack Carson and Eve Arden.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good for an "oldie" March 9 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie was good from start to finish. I can see why Joan Crawford won, an Oscar, for best actress on this one. She carried the movie. The young lady who played her daughter was quite good as well. Next up...the re-make.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a marvellous movie -- rivetting!!!!!!! June 22 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am not a Joan Crawford fan -- having said that, she is superb in "Mildred Pierce". As are Ann Blythe as "Veda" and Bruce Bennett, as "Bert". And we mustn't forget the incomparable Jack Carson as "Wally" or Eve Arden's portrayal of "Ida" -- wonderful!!!!!

I purchased this movie because I had seen it several times recently on television and decided I wanted it in my collection. I also bought James M. Cain's novel. Read the book, watch the movie. The movie IS different, because Hollywood would never have allowed the exact transfer to occur. Be prepared for surprises if you read the book.

Both are musts in any collection!!!! Enjoy
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