Director: Michael Curtiz
Joan Crawford (Mildred Pierce)
Jack Carson (Wally Fay)
Zachary Scott (Monte Beragon)
Eve Arden (Ida Corwin)
Ann Blyth (Veda Pierce)
- Oscar in 1945 for the best actress (Joan Crawford). Nominated for the best film, best supporting actress (Ann Blyth and Eve Arden), best script and best photography.
- Awarded by the National Board of Review in 1945 for the best actress. (Joan Crawford).
- Second award for the best actress in 1946 to Joan Crawford by the National Film Critics Circle Awards.
- However strange it may sound with the film career she already had, Joan Crawford had to make several screen tests in order to do the film.
- Shirley Temple and Virginia Wedler were considered for the part of Vera Pierce.
- The House of Monte was owned by Michael Curtiz.
- Michael Curtiz did not want to work with Joan Crawford because of her reputation as a difficult actress. Due to the actress’s hard work and dedication, it did not take him long to realize his mistake.
- Before she became an actress, Joan Crawford was a waitress and sales assistant.
- Warner did not want to work with Ann Blyth, who had a contract with Universal. However, Joan Crawford insisted, and showed Ann in her previous screen tests so that they would contract her.
- Joan Crawford, who won an Oscar for best actress, did not attend the ceremony because of a supposed case of pneumonia. Some people say this was not true as the actress just did not want to feel humiliated at not winning the award. When she found out, she jumped out of bed and got ready to receive the press.
I had not seen this film before. I think it’s one of the few titles from the list of 52 films I have prepared of which I had no reference whatsoever.
I have read in numerous specialized blogs that this is Joan Crawford’s best film, her best interpretation and the climax of her acting career, without belittling her other titles such as, A Woman’s Face or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. I think they have a point. It is certainly my favorite Joan Crawford performance until now. It is, therefore, with good reason that she was awarded the Oscar from the Hollywood Academy.
The film is a profound reflection of how bad family upbringing can affect a person’s formation, destroy them for life and make them a miserable human being. The interpretive duel between a mature Crawford and her perverse young daughter, played by Ann Blyth, is impressive. Theirs is a destructive relationship between a suffering mother and her devouring, selfish and blood-sucking young girl.
Ann Blyth gives life to a beautiful but hateful young girl, and her interpretation is so fabulous that on more than one occasion you feel like going through the screen and punching her, something which her mother fails to do.
The film tells us a tale of women, and of their lonely struggle to move forward after a divorce. It also shows their tireless fight alone, and their quest to push their children through any hardship whilst ensuring they have everything they need. The women forever think about their children both before and after they think about themselves.
This is a film, like no other, that represents the hard sacrifice forced upon the majority of American women in a time in which the war took, and in many cases never returned, their husbands, thus loading them with all the responsibilities of taking care of the whole family’s survival. A very well-deserved Oscar.
Mildred Pierce is a film which stops you and makes you think about how we are raising our children…