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PNFS: Mildred Pierce

PNFS: Mildred Pierce

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  • Wed 21 Mar ’12, 5:30pm
  • Wed 21 Mar ’12, 8:00pm


Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00


Palmerston North

Directed by Michael Curtiz
USA, 1945, 111mins (PG, low level violence)

The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkrUc30A-wU

“For a full dose of pure, unfiltered Joan Crawford, look no further than this slab of scorching film noir. Crawford is in her element as the heroine of James M. Cain's pulp-fiction classic, a ditched wife and mother who is forced to become a waitress. On the strength of Crawford's steely willpower (and maybe those intimidating wide-wing shoulder pads), she constructs an empire of eateries, only to be disappointed by her rotten daughter (Ann Blyth) and a ferret-faced new husband (Zachary Scott).

Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) whips up a storm of atmosphere, and the script is a series of tartly written exchanges. The best lines go to perennial wisecracker Eve Arden, as Crawford's acid-tongued pal—she earned her only Oscar nomination for the role. Commenting on the ungrateful daughter, Arden says, "Alligators have the right idea. They eat their young."

Crawford herself took home the best actress Oscar, and the film was a triumphant personal comeback: her longtime studio MGM had released her from her contract before Mildred Pierce came along.” – Robert Horton

“One of the best-made Hollywood movies ever, it transcends the genre of the high-powered soap opera (tinged with a definite noir flavour) by encapsulating a number of vital American themes, some of them years before the nation knew they existed. The desperate search for identity and property as the key to happiness, and maternal love misplaced on a grand scale, are the twin engines of this lightning-fast entertainment machine. A holy monster of Hollywood who wouldn't stay dead, Joan Crawford made this show a shattering return to the top, in a role she'd more or less repeat throughout the rest of her career.” - Glenn Erickson

You may have recently seen the five-part television miniseries on SoHo, starring Kate Winslet as Mildred, Guy Pearce as Beragon, Evan Rachel Wood as Veda, and Mare Winningham as Ida. Separate actresses portrayed Veda at different ages, as opposed to Ann Blyth alone in the 1945 film. The miniseries is told in chronological order with no flashbacks or voice-over narration, and of course does not include the murder subplot added for the 1945 feature version. It follows the novel very closely using most of the novel’s dialogue.

Did you know?
Monty's Beach House, used in the key opening scene and several others, was actually owned by the film's director. It was built in 1929 and stood at 26652 Latigo Shore Dr. in Malibu. It collapsed into the ocean after a week of heavy storms in January 1983.

Two screenings: 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.

Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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