Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Mildred Pierce

"Mildred Pierce" (1945)

I don't like to be tardy with my posts but my weekend was a bit mad due to preparing for my photo shoot. I now know better for next time lol Last week I was honored to be able to spotlight four fabulous Pinup Mamas so I wanted to spotlight the ultimate mama movie---"Mildred Pierce"! Hope you all enjoy and if you haven't seen this film yet it is a definite must!

Have you ever looked back and thought of all the things your mother or grandmother may (or may have not) done for you during your lifetime? The sacrifices, the care, the times you drove them up the wall---being a mother is a lot more than we imagine it to be. Its amazing what a mother would do for the love of her child. This film makes you wonder if giving too much is a good thing. It also can make you re-evaluate your relationship with your parents or with your own children.

Mildred Pierce is played by Joan Crawford who after a divorce struggles to find ways to financially support herself and her two daughters. Her eldest daughter Veda is played by Ann Blyth, she is a ruthless, social climber who sees nothing wrong in taking everything her mother has...including her husband! Her youngest daughter Kay is played by Jo Ann Marlowe who dies from pneumonia.

Mildred is constantly trying to win her daughter Veda's love and approval. She begins to work as a waitress and eventually works her way up to owning her own restaurant. After Kay's untimely death, she throws herself into her work and in time makes her restaurant a successful chain.

Joan Crawford as Mildred

Unable to win her daughter Veda's affection she decides to marry Monte Beragon played by Zachary Scott in order to improve her social standing and hoping she will finally gain approval from Veda.

Things go downhill quickly as Monte lives out a Playboy lifestyle and Veda gets everything her heart has desired. Unfortunately because of Mildred's inability to say no to those around her she loses her  business, but that was only the beginning of bad things to come. One night Mildred finds Veda in the arms of her husband Monte which then leads to explain what happened in the first part of the film.

The films begins with a peak into what happens at the end with Monte being shot but we don't know why or by whom until the end of the film. Shall I tell you? Well of course I do! Mildred deeply considered protecting her child from the realities of her actions but she finally puts her foot down and walks away from Veda. Veda was the one who shoots Monte because he told her he would not marry her.

Joan Crawford in 1970 discussing the film
that won her an Oscar, "Mildred Pierce".

So what is the moral of the story? Do we not spoil our children? Do we not have children til we acquire our own sense of self-love, therefore not having to manipulate those around us so that we can win their affection? Should we only marry for love and not for wealth? Should we even care what our children think of us? And lastly, what would you do if you were in Mildred's shoes?

I found the film captivating! Watching Joan Crawford play the part of a insecure yet driven woman was fascinating. Ann Blyth's character was a chilling portrayal of what greed does to a person. I don't know how many times I wanted to grab Ann Blyth's character and slap her in the face! And my goodness Ann Blyth made her character of Veda just bounce off the screen. The tension between mother and daughter was incredibly intense and it really makes you wonder what sort of boundaries you need to have as a mother with your daughters or sons.

This film is one every mother should see---heck--anyone who loves films should see!


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