'Mildred Pierce (1945)' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:11 PM
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Default 'Mildred Pierce (1945)' - High-Def Digest Review

David Krauss has reviewed 'Mildred Pierce (1945)'. This is highly recommended. Here's why...

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/4105...ierce1945.html
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:30 PM
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Excellent review, as usual David.

I definitely want to pick this up. Joan Crawford is excellent. I never knew about the Mommie Dearest connection, sadly my ignorance.

You mention this movie is basically a film noir, why isn't labeled as such?

Will definitely pick this up on a Criterion sale!
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:54 PM
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Excellent review, as usual David.

I definitely want to pick this up. Joan Crawford is excellent. I never knew about the Mommie Dearest connection, sadly my ignorance.

You mention this movie is basically a film noir, why isn't labeled as such?

Will definitely pick this up on a Criterion sale!
Thanks, Boston! I don't know why it's not labeled a film noir. My only thought might be that it's dominated by female characters. The men all play supporting parts. And in film noir, we always think of the tough guy or the disillusioned guy, or the guy who is double-crossed or a sap. 'Mildred Pierce' has a femme fatale like most noirs, but her main target isn't another man, it's her mother! So maybe it just doesn't quite fit the narrative formula, even though stylistically it's textbook film noir.

I'll be interested to hear what you think about it after you see it.
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Old 02-25-2017, 10:58 AM
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I'm definitely picking this up during B&Ns sale this summer.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:57 AM
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Thanks, Boston! I don't know why it's not labeled a film noir. My only thought might be that it's dominated by female characters. The men all play supporting parts. And in film noir, we always think of the tough guy or the disillusioned guy, or the guy who is double-crossed or a sap. 'Mildred Pierce' has a femme fatale like most noirs, but her main target isn't another man, it's her mother! So maybe it just doesn't quite fit the narrative formula, even though stylistically it's textbook film noir.

I'll be interested to hear what you think about it after you see it.
Hi David,
I watched this movie on Friday and thought I would share my thoughts.

This movie sure does feel like a film noir movie in then beginning but once the plot starts rolling I quickly lost that feeling. I felt it was more of a drama/crime mystery.

I found the relationship between Mildred and Bert to be extremely strange. Maybe it was common back then but it was sort of OK for him to have an interest in another woman but once he found out Mildred was interested in another man it was taboo. I'm sure that's how it was back then!

I really hated Veda, but that's a credit to a good performance by Blyth. I really liked Jack Carson's character. Was he there to add humor, like Ida(Eve Arden).

I thought Joan Crawford was very good. For some reason she reminds me of Bette Davis. Maybe it's the eyes.
That's three excellent Crawford movies I've seen(2 this past year):
Mildred Pierce
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
Johnny Guitar
(How was she in Grand Hotel? Worth a watch)?

I thought the screenplay was pretty tight, some great back and forth dialog throughout the movie.

What was with Monte Beragon's character? He came from wealth, owned a fair amount of property it seems, but never had money? What a loser!

I'll definitely be picking this up to own because the Criterion supplements look good!


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Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
I'm definitely picking this up during B&Ns sale this summer.
Have you seen it? I know you really like film noir movies and although this feels like one I don't believe it is. But still, it's a great movie, good drama/crime thriller.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:31 PM
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I saw the HBO mini series and thought it was great. If this is better or even on par, I'll be impressed. I forgot all about this movie.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Boston007 View Post
Hi David,
I watched this movie on Friday and thought I would share my thoughts.

This movie sure does feel like a film noir movie in then beginning but once the plot starts rolling I quickly lost that feeling. I felt it was more of a drama/crime mystery.

I found the relationship between Mildred and Bert to be extremely strange. Maybe it was common back then but it was sort of OK for him to have an interest in another woman but once he found out Mildred was interested in another man it was taboo. I'm sure that's how it was back then!

I really hated Veda, but that's a credit to a good performance by Blyth. I really liked Jack Carson's character. Was he there to add humor, like Ida(Eve Arden).

I thought Joan Crawford was very good. For some reason she reminds me of Bette Davis. Maybe it's the eyes.
That's three excellent Crawford movies I've seen(2 this past year):
Mildred Pierce
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
Johnny Guitar
(How was she in Grand Hotel? Worth a watch)?

I thought the screenplay was pretty tight, some great back and forth dialog throughout the movie.

What was with Monte Beragon's character? He came from wealth, owned a fair amount of property it seems, but never had money? What a loser!

I'll definitely be picking this up to own because the Criterion supplements look good!
I think 'Mildred Pierce' is really a hodgepodge of many different styles. I think you are quite correct in categorizing it as a crime film from a narrative standpoint. Stylistically and thematically, though, I think it has a great deal in common with film noir. Just as many people cite 'Casablanca' as an early example of noir (also directed by Curtiz), I think 'Mildred Pierce,' especially in its photographic style and use of darkness and shadows, also strongly evokes film noir, especially during its climax and all the scenes that transpire after the murder. I think there's an encroaching darkness that gradually overtakes the story - we see the all-encompassing blackness at the beginning of the movie, and then over the course of the flashbacks things get progressively darker, until the mystery is resolved and a new dawn emerges. Film noir was still in its infancy in 1945, so the form was still evolving, but i think several aspects of noir are present in the film.

Yes the relationship between Mildred and Bert isn't very well developed. I think he's more of a philanderer in the book and Mrs. Biederhoff is more of a siren than a nice middle-aged lady. Their break-up also seems extremely abrupt because we're not led to believe there are any underlying problems in their marriage. It's just like they have a spat and split up. More of a plot device than anything else.

I think Carson was there for comic relief, but also as just another slimy, selfish manipulator in Mildred's life. All the men profess to love her, but really just use her. Monte is from a fading family whose wealth has dried up over the years, but since he's never worked he thinks it's beneath him, so he just wants to live off others. Yeah, he's a huge loser!

Crawford is great in Grand Hotel!! She steals the movie, in my opinion. It's a dated movie, but definitely worth watching for all the stars. Garbo is great, but Crawford is better. It won Best Picture in 1932.

And the fact Crawford reminds you of Bette Davis is not surprising. Both played the same kind of roles and became larger than life personalities. There's a TV miniseries debuting on March 5 that chronicles their long-standing feud. Don't know if it will be any good, but Jessica Lange plays Crawford and Susan Sarandon plays Davis. Most of it centers around What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. I'll definitely be watching.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:49 PM
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I saw the HBO mini series and thought it was great. If this is better or even on par, I'll be impressed. I forgot all about this movie.
They are very different. The miniseries follows the book very closely, the 1945 film does not. Both are excellent in their own individual ways.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:56 AM
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Have you seen it? I know you really like film noir movies and although this feels like one I don't believe it is. But still, it's a great movie, good drama/crime thriller.
Nope. I pretty much blind buy all of my Noirs and Criterion movies.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dbacksfan View Post
I think 'Mildred Pierce' is really a hodgepodge of many different styles. I think you are quite correct in categorizing it as a crime film from a narrative standpoint. Stylistically and thematically, though, I think it has a great deal in common with film noir. Just as many people cite 'Casablanca' as an early example of noir (also directed by Curtiz), I think 'Mildred Pierce,' especially in its photographic style and use of darkness and shadows, also strongly evokes film noir, especially during its climax and all the scenes that transpire after the murder. I think there's an encroaching darkness that gradually overtakes the story - we see the all-encompassing blackness at the beginning of the movie, and then over the course of the flashbacks things get progressively darker, until the mystery is resolved and a new dawn emerges. Film noir was still in its infancy in 1945, so the form was still evolving, but i think several aspects of noir are present in the film.
Yes I noticed a lot of scenes with dark shadows, and you're right it did seem to get darker. There was one scene, where the camera follows Mildred as she is talking to someone then you only see the shadows but the conversation is still going on.

Then the dawn emerges, excellent observation

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Originally Posted by dbacksfan View Post
Yes the relationship between Mildred and Bert isn't very well developed. I think he's more of a philanderer in the book and Mrs. Biederhoff is more of a siren than a nice middle-aged lady. Their break-up also seems extremely abrupt because we're not led to believe there are any underlying problems in their marriage. It's just like they have a spat and split up. More of a plot device than anything else.

I think Carson was there for comic relief, but also as just another slimy, selfish manipulator in Mildred's life. All the men profess to love her, but really just use her. Monte is from a fading family whose wealth has dried up over the years, but since he's never worked he thinks it's beneath him, so he just wants to live off others. Yeah, he's a huge loser!
Funny, when she is at the police station she says, maybe comes to the realization, Bert was the nicest guy in her life. Surely nicer than Wally and Monte. Monte is a complete slime ball.

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Crawford is great in Grand Hotel!! She steals the movie, in my opinion. It's a dated movie, but definitely worth watching for all the stars. Garbo is great, but Crawford is better. It won Best Picture in 1932.
I will have to check it out then!

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Originally Posted by dbacksfan View Post
And the fact Crawford reminds you of Bette Davis is not surprising. Both played the same kind of roles and became larger than life personalities. There's a TV miniseries debuting on March 5 that chronicles their long-standing feud. Don't know if it will be any good, but Jessica Lange plays Crawford and Susan Sarandon plays Davis. Most of it centers around What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. I'll definitely be watching.
Sounds interesting, maybe I'll check it out, thanks!

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Nope. I pretty much blind buy all of my Noirs and Criterion movies.
I am hit or miss. I would say I'm 50/50 with seeing them first then buying versus blind buying.
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