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Mildred Pierce

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Zachary Scott
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Mildred Pierce (1945) starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Eve Arden

Synopsis of Mildred Pierce

In Mildred Pierce, a mother’s love can lead to murder! Joan Crawford delivers an Academy Award-winning performance as a woman clawing her way to success. In order to provide her daughters with everything she lacks. A woman named Mildred Pierce. Dying of gunshot wounds, Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott) croaks the name “Mildred”. The police believe he has named his murderer … and Pierce confesses to the crime. Now, as her story unfolds, the police learn of a woman who divorces her philandering husband. Then she takes a job as a waitress. And does anything to achieve success–only to be betrayed by the daughter she adores.


  • Joan Crawford (Sudden Fear, Possessed) … Mildred Pierce Beragon. The title character, who tells her entire life story in flashback. How she became divorced, had to work to support her children. She found herself a waitress, then a baker, then restaurant owner. Then entrepreneur running a chain of restaurants. But never happy. Especially as she spoils Veda relentlessly …
  • Jack Carson (King of the Roaring Twenties) … Wally Fay. Nice guy and realtor, who keeps pursuing Mildred throughout the movie. Unsuccessfully. Which, frankly, is too bad. Bert’s former business partner.
  • Zachary Scott (It’s Only Money) … Monte Beragon. Mildred’s second husband, and the murder victim. A thoroughly unlikable individual, who literally’s romancing his stepdaughter behind his wife’s back.
  • Eve Arden (Stage Door, Our Miss Brooks [movie]) … Ida Corwin. Mildred’s reliable, snarky, friend.
  • Ann Blyth (Killer McCoy) … Veda Pierce. The selfish, spoiled, daughter of Mildred. She keeps expecting her mother to bail her out of her self-induced troubles. And, she’s right.
  • Bruce Bennett (Mystery Street, Alligator People) … Bert Pierce. Mildred’s first husband.
  • Lee Patrick (The Fuller Brush Girl, Visit to a Small Planet) … Mrs. Maggie Biederhof. Bert’s mistress, causing him & Mildred to divorce.
  • Moroni Olsen (Mary of Scotland 1936) … Inspector Peterson
  • Veda Ann Borg (Mother Wore Tights, Life with Blondie) … Miriam Ellis
  • Jo Ann MarloweKay Pierce. Mildred’s younger daughter, a tomboy. She tragically dies of pneumonia.
  • Butterfly McQueen (I Dood It) … Lottie. Mildred’s employee.

Product Description 

Melodrama casts noirish shadows in this portrait of maternal sacrifice from the Hollywood master Michael Curtiz. Its iconic performance by Joan Crawford (Johnny Guitar) as Mildred, a single mother hell-bent on freeing her children from the stigma of economic hardship, solidified Crawford s career comeback and gave the actor her only Oscar. But as Mildred pulls herself up by the bootstraps, first as an unflappable waitress and eventually as the well-heeled owner of a successful restaurant chain, the ingratitude of her materialistic firstborn (a diabolical Ann Blyth) becomes a venomous serpent s tooth, setting in motion an endless cycle of desperate overtures and heartless recriminations. Recasting James M. Cain’s rich psychological novel as a murder mystery, this bitter cocktail of blind parental love and all-American ambition is both unremittingly hard-boiled and sumptuously emotional.

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