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Mildred Pierce (Warner 1945, Joan Crawford, Jack Carson)



Joan Crawford is at her finest in Mildred Pierce with her Oscar-winning role as James M. Cain’s sacrificing mother who rises from waitress to restaurant-chain owner only to find her undoing in a mean-spirited, ungrateful daughter, Ann Blyth.

A first-class soap directed with deft aplomb by Warner A-teamer Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, 1942). The title role, which revived Crawford’s career, was reportedly first offered to Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck before producer Jerry Wald was approached by Crawford.

James M. Cain, who wrote the novel that became Mildred Pierce, sent a first edition of the book to star Joan Crawford. His inscription read, ‘To Joan Crawford, who brought Mildred to life … and who has my life-long gratitude.

Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Picture; Best (Adapted) Screenplay; Best Supporting Actress: Eve Arden and Ann Blyth.

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 111 minutes | 1945
Director: Michael Curtiz
Script: Ranald MacDougall, James M. Cain, Herschel Daugherty,

Veda Ann Borg as Miriam Ellis
Jack Mower as Jack the Mailman (uncredited)
Tom Dillon as Policeman (uncredited)
Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce
Bruce Bennett as Albert ‘Bert’ Pierce
Wheaton Chambers as Personnel Man (uncredited)
James Flavin as Detective (uncredited)
Moroni Olsen as Inspector Peterson
Clancy Cooper as Policeman (uncredited)
Robert Arthur as High School Boy (uncredited)
Garry Owen as Policeman on Pier (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey as Bumped First Night Diner (uncredited)
Harold Miller as Man (uncredited)
Charles Trowbridge as Mrs. Forrester’s Lawyer (uncredited)
Lee Patrick as Mrs. Maggie Biederhof
Jack Carson as Wally Fay
Zachary Scott as Monte Beragon
Eve Arden as Ida Corwin
Ann Blyth as Veda Pierce Forrester
Jo Ann Marlowe as Kay Pierce
Betty Alexander as Party Guest (uncredited)
Ramsay Ames as Party Guest (uncredited)
George Anderson as Peterson’s Assistant (uncredited)
Lynn Baggett as Waitress (uncredited)
Leah Baird as Police Matron (uncredited)
Dorothy Barrett as Dorothy (uncredited)
Barbara Brown as Mrs. Forrester (uncredited)
Claire Carleton as Thieving Waitress (uncredited)
Doria Caron as Waitress (uncredited)
Wallis Clark as Wally’s Lawyer (uncredited)
Chester Clute as Mr. Jones (uncredited)
John Compton as Theodore ‘Ted’ Ellison Forrester (uncredited)
Joyce Compton as Waitress (uncredited)
David Cota as Pancho (uncredited)
Bess Flowers as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Angela Greene as Party Guest (uncredited)
Dorothy Hack as Little Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Stuart Hull as First Night Diner With Cane (uncredited)
Charles Jordan as Policeman (uncredited)
Marjorie Kane as Waitress (uncredited)
Richard Kipling as Personnel Man (uncredited)
Manart Kippen as Dr. Gale (uncredited)
Marion Lessing as Waitress (uncredited)
Jimmy Lono as Monte’s Houseboy (uncredited)
Jean Lorraine as Woman (uncredited)
Butterfly McQueen as Lottie (uncredited)
George Meader as Man (uncredited)
Frank O’Connor as First Night Diner (uncredited)
Paul Panzer as Waiter (uncredited)
Larry Rio as Reporter (uncredited)
William Ruhl as Personnel Man (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre as Diner Customer (uncredited)
Mary Servoss as Nurse (uncredited)
George Tobias as Mr. Chris (uncredited)
Johnny Walsh as Delivery Man (uncredited)
Joan Winfield as Piano Teacher (uncredited)