Mildred Pierce
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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.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The production, mainly because of Michael Curtiz's direction, is unimaginative and badly hoked-up."
‑ Manny Farber, The New Republic
"A class feature, showmanly produced by Jerry Wald and tellingly directed by Michael Curtiz."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Considered a film noir classic, it is more of a soap opera, despite the fact that the story revolves around a murder mystery. It is a story which artfully combines cynicism and sentimentality."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"A hearty genre pic fraught with tense social/sexual anxieties."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Great middle-period Crawford, strong story"
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"All this is good melodrama and fair entertainment, but it is much closer to the waltz-time schmalz of Kathleen Norris than to the fox-trot brass of James M. Cain."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The film is a chilling demonstration of the fact that, in a patriarchal society, when a woman steps outside the home the end result may be disastrous."
‑ , Time Out
"Joan Crawford gives one of her most iconic (Oscar-winning) performances in Michael Curtiz's quintessential film noir and woman's picture of the 1940s."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Though all of its craft is accomplished, Mildred Pierce never gets deep under one's skin the way it ought to."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"Most of the story has nothing to do with crime, and is instead about the efforts of Crawford’s character to better herself (she starts a popular restaurant) so she can remain in the good graces of her relentlessly snobbish daughter. It is a clever b"
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"The archetypal Joan Crawford movie."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Joan Crawford is playing a most troubled lady, and giving a sincere and generally effective characterization of same."
‑ , New York Times
"An undisputed classic."
‑ , Film4
"It shows its age in some scenes...yet it survives them all with its riveting performances."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Smart and brisk, just soapy enough to be as tragic as it is fun. "Mildred Pierce" is one of the best movies made by its star, Joan Crawford."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
More reviews for Mildred Pierce on Rotten Tomatoes