July 9, 2005

Melodramatic noir - Crawford, Curtiz and Mildred Pierce

With Warner recently releasing (and re-releasing) a number of older Hollywood movies, individually and in sets (such as The Bette Davis Collection, The Joan Crawford Collection and The Complete James Dean Collection), I thought it worthwhile to take a second look at some of those movies I already had.

A few days ago I re-highlighted the review I did a while ago of Now, Voyager (Bette Davis). Now, I thought I'd highlight Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford), a much better film and one definitely worth seeing, if you haven't already. (If you have seen it, then I'd say it's worth a second look now.) It's directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood).

For lack of a better term, I'd call it melodramatic noir. While a soap opera-ish quality mixed with noir may not seem the best blend, the result is not disagreeable. In fact, it works in an odd way. And Crawford gives a marvellous performance as Mildred, a mother obsessed with giving her bitchy daughter everything she wants.

I've got my review here.

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