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Mildred Pierce (1945)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 7,863

My Rating

Movie Info

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)

Feb 4, 2003

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (6) | DVD (15)

The production, mainly because of Michael Curtiz's direction, is unimaginative and badly hoked-up.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

July 25, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The archetypal Joan Crawford movie.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A class feature, showmanly produced by Jerry Wald and tellingly directed by Michael Curtiz.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joan Crawford is playing a most troubled lady, and giving a sincere and generally effective characterization of same.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

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.

March 25, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

An undisputed classic.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

A hearty genre pic fraught with tense social/sexual anxieties.

August 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Though all of its craft is accomplished, Mildred Pierce never gets deep under one's skin the way it ought to.

June 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It shows its age in some scenes...yet it survives them all with its riveting performances.

June 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Great middle-period Crawford, strong story

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

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

October 14, 2004

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.

August 4, 2004
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Overrated but still effective noirish soaper.

February 11, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of those bad, implausible, fundamentally confused movies that is nevertheless a kick in the pants.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

It may not be art or good taste, but throbbing melodrama doesn't come with more conviction.

April 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It is mainly Crawford's triumph, and the most remarkable comeback in Hollywood's history.

April 17, 2001 Full Review Source:

The luscious blacks and whites of this melodramatic noir classic suit Crawford's kabuki-like visage perfectly.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Mildred Pierce

The story of "Mildred Pierce," follows Mildred, a poor woman who is about to divorce her wealthy husband. Once this happens, she results to becoming a waitress in order to put food on the table for her children. She quickly moves up in the business and eventually takes a chance in creating her own restaurant chain. She becomes very successful and wealthy, but like all happiness, there is always an end. I absolutely loved every second of this film, even though there was an overload of cheesy lines and a scene (which I will not spoil) that was a little too random and subtle to be taken seriously. Besides it's few catastrophically minor setbacks, "Mildred Pierce" helms a spot at the top of my list of mystery films. This film is a journey that I would be willing to take, many more times!
January 20, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

What a fantastic movie, I loved it, the story is great and the actors are even better! One of my favourite movies.
October 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

Ida Corwin: "Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young." Too right. Joan's master performance a riveting film noir film with a suprising ending.
March 2, 2010

Super Reviewer

Not to take anything away from Joan Crawford's performance, but this part had oscar written all over it regardless of who got cast. Strong, heroic female characters were somewhat rare in 1945 and it's easy to see why Miss Crawford fought hard for this role. I would have loved to have seen an actress with a little more warmth get the part (maybe a June Allyson or a Linda Darnell). Still, it's undoubtedly Joan Crawford's signature performance. MILDRED PIERCE resurrected her career and cemented her place as a legend of Hollywood's golden age.

*From IMDB: Both Bette Davis and Rosalind Russell turned down the title role, Ann Sheridan was also considered for the part and Barbara Stanwyck was "very keen to take it" before Joan Crawford won her battle for the role.

Its interesting to note that Shirley Temple was considered for the role of nasty little spoiled-rotten Veda.
November 13, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

    1. Mildred Pierce: I was always in the kitchen. I felt as though I'd been born in a kitchen and lived there all my life, except for the few hours it took to get married.
    – Submitted by John T (9 months ago)
    1. Veda Pierce: You think just because you made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't, because you'll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing.
    – Submitted by John T (9 months ago)
    1. Veda Pierce: With this money I can get away from you. From you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture. And this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls.
    – Submitted by John T (9 months ago)
    1. Veda Pierce: Are you sure you want to know?
    2. Mildred Pierce: Yes.
    3. Veda Pierce: Then I'll tell you. With this money, I can get away from you.
    4. Mildred Pierce: Veda...
    5. Veda Pierce: From you and your chickens, pies and kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack and its cheap furniture. And this town and its dollar-days and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls.
    6. Mildred Pierce: I think I'm really seeing you for the first time in my life and you're cheap and horrible.
    7. Veda Pierce: You think just because you've made a little money, you can get some new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't. You'll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money I can get away from all the rotting, stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you!
    8. Mildred Pierce: Veda!
    – Submitted by Ralph T (2 years ago)
    1. Ida: Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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