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Mildred Pierce Details

FULL 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

  • Release date:September 24, 1945

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ann Blyth Best Supporting Actress 1945 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Haller Best Black and White Cinematography 1945 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ranald MacDougall Best Screenplay 1945 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Eve Arden Best Supporting Actress 1945 Nominee
National Board of Review Joan Crawford Best Actress 1945 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joan Crawford Best Actress 1945 Winner

Cast

Joan Crawford
as Mildred Pierce
Jack Carson
as Wally Fay
Zachary Scott
as Monte Beragon
Eve Arden
as Ida
Ann Blyth
as Veda Pierce
Bruce Bennett
as Bert Pierce
Lee Patrick
as Maggie Binderhof
Moroni Olsen
as Inspector Peterson
Veda Ann Borg
as Miriam Ellis
Barbara Brown
as Mrs. Forrester
Charles Trowbridge
as Mr. Williams
Butterfly McQueen
as Lottie
Chester Clute
as Mr. Jones
John Compton
as Ted Forrester
Angela Greene
Richard Kipling
Don Grant
as Bartender
George Tobias
as Mr. Chris
Larry Rio
as Reporter
Garry Owen
as Policeman
Clancy Cooper
as Policeman
Charles Jordan
as Policeman
James Flavin
as Detective
Joyce Compton
as Waitress
Doria Caron
as Waitress
Mary Servoss
as Nurse
David Cota
as Pancho
George Meader
as Man
Wallis Clark
as Wally's Lawyer
Betty Alexander
as Party Guest
Ramsay Ames
as Party Guest
Joan Winfield
as Piano Teacher
Paul Panzer
as Waiter
John Sheridan
as Clerk
Wheaton Chambers
as Personnel Man
Lynne Baggett
as Waitress
William H. Ruhl
as Personnel Man
Clancy Cooper
as Policeman
Paul Panzer
as Waiter
David Cota
as Pancho
Mary Servoss
as Nurse
John Sheridan
as Clerk
George Meader
as Man
Garry Owen
as Policeman
Ramsay Ames
as Party Guest
Don Grant
as Bartender
Betty Alexander
as Party Guest
Wallis Clark
as Wally's Lawyer
Lynne Baggett
as Waitress
Joan Winfield
as Piano Teacher
Larry Rio
as Reporter
George Tobias
as Mr. Chris
Doria Caron
as Waitress
Charles Jordan
as Policeman
Joyce Compton
as Waitress
Wheaton Chambers
as Personnel Man
James Flavin
as Detective

Crew

Michael Curtiz
Director
Jerry Wald
Producer
Ranald MacDougall
Screenwriter
Ernest Haller
Cinematographer
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
David Weisbart
Editor
Anton Grot
Art Director
Jack L. Warner
Executive Producer
Milo Anderson
Costume Designer
Willard Van Enger
Special Effects
Perc Westmore
Makeup
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