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Essential for Old-Movie Fans
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.