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Mildred Pierce debuts on HBO: positive buzz for Joan Crawford remake

Roz Zurko's picture

“Mildred Pierce” HBO’s mini series debuts tonight and it already is looking to be a big ratings grabber.

Kate Winslet plays Mildred Pierce and her co-star is Guy Pearce. This period piece was one of Joan Crawford’s most memorable movies and it tells a story of a family that deals with issues that are just as prevalent today as they were in 1945 when the original “Mildred Pierce” hit the silver screen.

Over half a century ago, Mildred Pierce, played by Joan Crawford, broke the glass ceiling of that day and age to become an entrepreneur in a man’s world. Mildred stepped into that role having all the advantages that a man of that era would have, including a kept lover.

The Joan Crawford movie starts out with Mildred having two daughters, but one dies of sickness. Now as an only child, this very spoiled daughter becomes the driving force behind almost every move that Mildred makes. As time goes on, Mildred begins to build a monster, and what a monster Mildred’s daughter Veda becomes.

Mildred’s life is full of men who take advantage of her around every corner. She gives in when it suits her, like a marriage of convenience to a broke playboy with a influential family name. Veda, Mildred’s daughter takes and takes and takes from her mother, including taking her husband.

The movie opens with a murder and Mildred is being questioned about her connections with the dead man. Then it goes to the very beginning of how Mildred got to this point in her life where she is being looked at as a possible murderer.

This HBO mini-series was shot around the Forest Hills Gardens area of California. The picturesque houses provide a neighborhood setting that is very authentic to the period that the series is set in. Parts of “Mildred Pierce” were also filmed in Merrick and Glen Cove Long Island. The filming for this movie took place last summer.

“Mildred Pierce” was written by James M. Cain and is set during the days of the Great Depression. The mini-series for HBO is directed by Todd Haynes. The first of the two part mini-series will air at 9pm tonight on HBO.

Joan Crawford was impeccable in the role of Mildred in “Mildred Pierce” and Kate Winslet is a good choice for a modern day actress to depict this very strong and ahead of her times woman. Joan Crawford showed very little warmth in her role as Mildred, it will be interesting to see how Kate goes about playing the same person.

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