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Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden,
After her husband leaves her for his bridge partner, Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) devotes her energies and talents to providing for her elder daughter, Veda, who suffers from perpetual dissatisfaction. Veda prefers her lifestyle untainted by work, and disdains her mother, a waitress turned restaurant owner, for earning their living. In a disquieting mixture of the dark, unsettling world of film noir and the open, daylit world of melodrama, Mildred Pierce’s obsessive love for her daughter ends in a murder that begins the film. In flashbacks the murder emerges as one of many interconnected crimes—crimes born, not of physical violence, but rather of emotional and psychological needs, crimes rooted in the family. Mildred’s loving too much is inseparable from her working too much in a classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, damned if you are a mother.