Thursday, July 26, 2012

176. Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce
Directed by Michael Curtiz

This was a fun one.  I have never watched a soap opera but I imagine it would be something like this.  There is a love triangle, murder, self sacrificing heroine, and a brat.  It is all good fun; maybe you won't be intellectually enhanced by the end but you will enjoy a juicy two hours.  Best to be watched with a box of chocolates.

The film centers on Joan Crawford, who I normally hate but I have to admit, was spectacular in this movie.  She has an absolutely horrible, selfish daughter who makes Teresa Giudice's kids look like sweet, obedient children.  It is in film noir style but it certainly isn't your typical noir; in fact, it is really like nothing I have ever seen before.

Michael Curtiz certainly brings us some weird ones that are either horrifically awful or surprisingly good.  Luckily, this one falls in the latter category.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Joan Crawford was secretly having her costumes altered to be more flattering.  Yeah, I was right; she was a bitch.

Joan Crawford faked an illness so she wouldn't have to attend the Academy Awards because she was convinced she wouldn't win.  When she heard she did, she immediately jumped out of bed and began to put on make up to meet the press.  God, she was just the worst.


  1. I really enjoyed this film because it was so melodramatic. I'm wondering if I would be able to watch it a second time, now that I know the twists and how it ends. The daughter might annoy me too much.

    It was very interesting to have a film noir focus on a woman, and how she f*cked everything up because she kept doing business with her emotions instead of her brain. Dames, am I right?

  2. Yet again a 'Thank you' to Rachel for digging this treasure out of the vaults...
    Very much a favourite of mine that keeps you gripped all the way through.. despite, I'm afraid, (you are right Amanda) it being an overblown soap.. and the truly awful daughter.
    Joan Crawford.. hate to know her.. but I've never seen her in a film where she was less than magnificent (Although I believe she did do a string of stinkers)

  3. It is definitely a fun film to watch, even though I too find Joan Crawford to be a bit insufferable. That might be because of everything I have read about her personality.

  4. I love that this is a noir that flips the gender roles. The flawed heroine, the man fatalle, the dystopi, the bw cinematography. Just perfect. Okay Crawford was a bitch, but dammit she could act.

    1. Very true. I think by far her most impressive role.