In the annals of film noir there’s nothing quite like Mildred Pierce, which manages not just to touch the bases of that particular brand of crime drama, but which is also a ‘women’s picture’, taking the issues of a working mother seriously. Even at the time it was made it was an unusual film, as evidenced by the original trailer, which presents Joan Crawford as a noir femme fatale full of malice, while in the actual movie she’s someone rather different.
Crawford is the titular Mildred, a housewife with two daughters and a rocky marriage. She’s keen to give her kids everything they want, especially the demanding Veda (Anny Blyth), who wants the best clothes, the most sophisticated life and plenty of money. After the total breakdown of Mildred’s marriage, she starts up a restaurant, hoping to give Veda the life she wants. [Read more…]