Mildred Pierce

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Starring

Synopsis

Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for her bravura portrayal of the titular heroine in Mildred Pierce. The original James M. Cain novel concerns a wife and mother who works her way to financial security to provide a rosy future for her beloved daughter, but encounters difficulties and tragedies along the way. Ranald McDougall's screenplay tones down the sexual content, enhancing its film noir value by adding a sordid murder. The film opens with oily lounge lizard Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott) being pumped full of bullets. Croaking out the name "Mildred", he collapses and dies. Both the police and the audience are led to believe that the murderer is chain-restaurant entrepreneur Mildred Pierce (Crawford), who takes the time to relate some of her sordid history. As the flashback begins, we see Mildred unhappily married to philandering Bert Pierce (Bruce Bennett). She divorces him, keeping custody of her two beloved daughters, Veda (Ann Blyth) and Kay (Jo Anne Marlowe). To keep oldest daughter Veda in comparative luxury, Mildred ends up taking a waitressing position at a local restaurant. With the help of slimy real estate agent Wally Fay (Jack Carson), she eventually buys her own establishment, which grows into a chain of restaurants throughout Southern California. Meanwhile, Mildred smothers Veda in affection and creature comforts. She goes so far as to enter into a loveless marriage with the wealthy Monty Beragon in order to improve her social standing; Beragon repays the favor by living the life of a layabout playboy, much to Mildred's dismay -- and possible financial ruin. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Chapter List

Side #1 -- Mildred Pierce
1. Shoreline Credits [1:36]
2. Dying Word and Thoughts [2:22]
3. Uneasy Company [3:25]
4. Never Saw Deader [4:43]
5. Class Reunion [4:34]
6. Prime Suspect [3:51]
7. Kids First [4:31]
8. Cheap Material [3:16]
9. Hopeful Wally [3:43]
10. Anything You Want [1:58]
11. New Waitress [3:05]
12. Why Not a Restaurant? [5:45]
13. Community Property [3:38]
14. Declined and Accepted [3:15]
15. Sound of Our Hearts [3:26]
16. Tragedy [4:10]
17. Grand Opening [3:02]
18. Veda Meets Monte [3:08]
19. One Man's Poison [2:12]
20. Confession [2:01]
21. Bad Habits [3:11]
22. Monte's Payoff [4:53]
23. Veda's Payoff [5:35]
24. I Can Get Away! [2:57]
25. The Alligator Idea [3:23]
26. Working Girl [4:17]
27. Sold on Marriage [4:15]
28. Homecoming [3:44]
29. Acting Badly [3:36]
30. Unexpected [3:01]
31. Her Fault [3:12]
32. Into the Dawn [:43]
Side #2 -- Features
1. Many Faces [2:43]
2. Party Girl [3:07]
3. New Identity [3:46]
4. Troublemaker [3:48]
5. Stardom and Marriage [4:36]
6. Gable [4:01]
7. Banner Year: 1932 [4:01]
8. Creature of Extremes [3:59]
9. Tone and Tracy [4:07]
10. The Women [4:02]
11. Motherhood; Marriage #3 [4:25]
12. Mommie Dearest [1:52]
13. Mildred Pierce [2:57]
14. Wire Hangers [4:03]
15. Constant Needs [4:45]
16. Christmas Independent [3:40]
17. Johnny Guitar [2:33]
18. Warrior Aspect [4:24]
19. Pepsi's First Lady [4:43]
20. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? [4:20]
21. Leading Lady to the End [5:05]
22. Another Crawford [4:27]
23. End Credits [1:24]