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Mildred Pierce

The golden age of Hollywood was never more dazzling – the great Joan Crawford stars in the role of her career in this flawless noir-melodrama.


Dir Michael Curtiz
Prod Jerry Wald, Jack L Warner
Scr Ranald MacDougall
With Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
UK Distribution Park Circus Limited

Noir and melodrama come together in a landmark moment for American cinema. Of all the movie stars who lit up 1940s Hollywood, Joan Crawford may just have been the most dazzling and Mildred Pierce was the role of her career. Adapted from crime writer James M Cain’s source novel, the film has a streak of the hardboiled from the start, framed as a murder mystery. But it’s one made unique by the richness of its portrait of a woman who chooses independence over a flawed marriage, building a business empire that is still not enough to satisfy her brattily ungrateful daughter. Gender, family and class all bubble through a film that still feels vital after more than 70 years. LFF audiences have the chance to see it here in a restoration that draws out the endless black of its original nitrate stock, fittingly for a movie filled with beautiful darkness.

Danny Leigh

Additional information

4K Restoration by Criterion and Warner Bros.

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