on May 5, 2004
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.
on January 27, 2004
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.
on October 12, 2003
Put simply, if you're one of the two-and-a-half people left on the planet who hasn't seen Mildred Pierce yet, do yourself an enormous favour and get it immediately. Joan Crawford is nothing short of remarkable, and, for once, the director and producers have done the smart thing and extracted an understated and beautifully-shot performance from La Crawford. The supporting cast, in particular Eve Arden, are a treat, and Max Stein's score is, by now, legendary.
Also, Wonderful Wonderful Warner Bros. have given Joan fans everywhere a wonderful gift with the B-Side of this DVD; there's almost a 90-minute documentary on Joan which is one of the best movie-star documentaries ever made. It explores all aspects of Joan's life, from the heady flapper years to the alleged child-abuse to the lonely finale of the life of the Absolute and Unquestionable Queen of Hollywood's Golden Age. Get this now.
on March 23, 2004
Mildred pierce in his spirit the film together with The Pastoral Symphony of Jean Delanoy who better explores the female world in this decade so filled with trouble and fear.
The close experience of the Second World war in a certain way was a crossroad for a huge crowd of directors. 1945 is the birth of the italian neorealism, the full comittment of the film noir, the first aproximations of the social film (Remember Kazan , Wilder , Dmytrik , Losey, Wyler,) and I think it was the starting point of the sparkle for the new wave cinema ten years after.
If you watch this movie, you`ll forget you`re in the a a film from the forties. Because the story is told so perfectly and the matter in question is so related with everyone of us that all the explored universe of feelings , the proud, the anger and the constance of the main character in a ravishing performance of Mrs. Crawford and the astonishing Anne Blyth, makes that film not only a cult movie but a obligated reference for those who love the art of cinema.
If I coukd, I`d give it ten stars instaed of just five.
on April 8, 2003
There are good films, even great films...and then there are those in which all the elements come together to form something so close to perfection, something that so exemplifies what can be enriching, artistic and just flat out entertaining about the medium that you can only sit back in wonder and let it flow over you like a pleasant, soothing bath. "Mildred Pierce" is such a film. The cinematography, music, script, acting -- there are few films that come close to matching the skill with which "Mildred.." has been put together. There's not a moment, a line or a look that rings false; not a frame that doesn't speak of the craft of Hollywood at its peak. But not in a self-conscious way. In fact, this is the least campy of Hollywood's melodramas, even with Miss Joan Crawford in the lead. Few actresses have deserved their Oscar more. The sensitivity and understatement she brings to the role is mighty impressive, particularly in light of the scenery chewing and self-parody to which she could so often fall prey. If you're at all interested in Hollywood's golden years and you don't know "Mildred Pierce" -- well, you really can't be a Hollywood connoisseur without it in your collection.
on March 15, 2003
"Mildred Pierce" certainly took long enough to arrive on DVD, but it was worth the wait. This transfer is everything one would want. I second all the positive opinions on this page.
If you like this DVD, I recommend "Sudden Fear" (an exceptional thriller with several great Crawford "moments") and the very campy "Queen Bee," which have been released.
And let's hope other sought-after Crawford films from the same era are soon released on DVD. "Possessed," for one. The vulnerability of her performance in that makes the viewer's hair stand on end. The very entertaining (often in unintentional ways) "Torch Song" is another choice movie. And let's not forget the excellent "A Woman's Face."
Or even better, the studio could release box sets collecting the best of Crawford's output (as was the case on laserdisc).
When all is said and done, Joan Crawford remains the epitome of the Hollywood star, and more of her striking and affecting performances deserve to be burned onto DVD.
on February 27, 2003
My respect for Warner Brothers goes up another notch with the release of Mildred Pierce. After leaving MGM, Joan Crawford found a new studio and greater respect for her talents over at W.B. She also took home the Best Actress Oscar for this flick. Crawford is Mildred, a struggling single mom who has to battle a cut-throat business partner, philandering boyfriend and ungrateful child in this classic film noir who done it. About the transfer: Warner has taken great pains to restore both the picture and sound elements and their attention to detail shows. The visuals are glorious, sharp and in pristine condition. Close ups reveal actor's make up and fine detail in the fabric of their costumes - the transfer is that good! Included on side two is a heartbreaking documentary about the star that perhaps reveals more than one side to "Mommy Dearest". Clearly Joan was not mother of the year but she was a marvelous actress and a great talent. No one, not even daughter Christina, can deny Joan that! This is a definite must have for anyone who loves Joan Crawford, black and white film noir or just movies in general. Buy it today!
on February 27, 2003
It just goes to show that an old movie can come out on DVD with lots of extra features (take note, Paramount). Any fan would agree that getting this movie alone is enough to race out and buy it. Warner have gone the extra mile though and added a recent documentary on Crawford (and it's over an hour in length!), heaps of Crawford trailers for her other movies and also some snapshots of Awards she received for the film. The film itself has been restored to pristine condition. Still, there are some complaints - when will Warner Bros move away from cardboard DVD cases? It is very annoying because these can get scratched! We want plastic cases, thanks. The other complaint relates to the cover art. Warner obviously didn't know their product because they have included a picture of Joan with a gun on the bottom of the cover with words referring that men wouldn't want to know her. Wrong movie Warner! I guess they'll fix it up, and for those who have this dud cover - well, it might be worth something in years to come because of this error!
on February 8, 2003
It is so nice to finally have this exceedingly well restored classic on DVD. The print is so clear and sound so good, it is almost like seeing it for the first time. Joan Crawford is excellent, dispelling the myth that she was a movie star, not an actress. The storyline is constantly surprising and the supporting case, from Eve Arden and Anne Blyth to Jack Carson are all excellent. But it is the extras on this DVD edition that really make it worth buying. First you get TMC's excellent hour and a half documentary, "Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Star", narrated by Angelica Houston and featuring commentary from many of Crawford's contemporaries, such as Anita Paige (!), Cliff Robertson, Diane Baker, Vincent Sherman, Betsy Palmer, biographer Bob Thomas, playwright Charles Busch and (unfortunately), Christina Crawford. The documentary goes a long way in turning Crawford back into a human after being brought down to the level of monster after the publishing of "Mommie Dearest". Also included on the disc are some really great trailers from all of Crawford's Warner Brothers movies, dating from 1945-1952, as well as The Women and Baby Jane. Let's home Turner continues putting out DVDs with such care and thoughtfulness toward fans. I (of course), would love to see other Crawford titles come out in the near future, as well. Definitely well worth the price!
on February 4, 2003
The DVD issue of Mildred Pierce does the movie proud. Joan Crawford won the best actress oscar in 1945 for her role as a woman left alone to raise her two daughters, one of which is spoiled rotten and portrayed by a young Ann Blyth. The movie begins and ends with the same murder scene. While in a police station Mildred narrates her struggles as a jobless mother after her husband leaves her. In desperation she takes a job as a waitress and is so driven that she finally becomes owner of her own restaurant. But there's no pleasing her ungrateful daughter Veda (Ann Blyth) no matter what sacrifices Mildred makes. The DVD issue boasts a pristine picture quality. The flip side of the DVD contains a wonderful documentary "Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star", the best I've ever seen. My only complaint is that the DVD cover art and back cover photo of Joan sporting a pistol is actually advertising a different movie. Hopefully someone will notice and correct this mistake soon. Otherwise, highly recommended.