Monday, March 5, 2012

MILDRED PIERCE (1945)

Housewife Mildred Pierce isn't happy at home. Her husband recently lost his job and he just isn't bringing in the bacon it takes to provide their two daughters with singing lessons, piano lessons and nice clothes...especially eldest daughter Veda who's a Grade-A cunt. Mildred and her husband separate and Mildred secretly gets a job as a waitress. Before long she knows all the ins and outs of the restaurant business and opens up her own place. It's a success, but will it be enough to satisfy the spoiled Veda? And what of the men in Mildred's life? Oh yeah there's also that little matter of murder!

Told in long flashback form during the investigation of a murder, the 1945 film version of MILDRED PIERCE differs greatly from James Cain's thrilling hard-boiled novel of the same name. The reason for the changes is there's absolutely no way that story could have been told in 1945. Usually I'm strongly against changing a story so radically from the author's original vision, but the screenwriters here (including William Faulkner!) did an excellent job. Add onto that some outstanding acting by everybody and you got yourself an really good movie. I've seen MP a number of times now and it's always a pleasure and strikes me as a very mature film for 1945. Highly recommended.

IMDb lists Joyce Compton as "Waitress (uncredited)" but I don't see here anywhere.