Portraits of family dysfunction don’t get much more brutal than Michael Curtiz’s 1945 Mildred Pierce, which features Joan Crawford in an Oscar-winning performance that revived her career. Adapted from James M. Cain’s psychological novel, the film injects hard-boiled suspense into the story of the eponymous heroine (Crawford), who works tirelessly to build a life of social stability for her cruel and ungrateful daughter Veda (Ann Blyth). In the clip below, excerpted from a new conversation on our release, critics Molly Haskell and Robert Polito explain how this classic upends the conventions of the women’s picture and how the toxic mother-daughter relationship in the film compares to the one in Cain’s novel.
Liv Ullmann Recalls “Shattering” Moments on the Set of Shame
While working on Ingmar Bergman’s devastating antiwar film, the actress developed an emotionally intense chemistry with her costar Max von Sydow.
The Real-Life Rage That Fueled Lee Grant in In the Heat of the Night
In this excerpt from a new interview, the actor talks about how she channeled her political anger in the role of a distraught widow in Norman Jewison’s Oscar-winning crime drama.
Writing with the Body: Mikey and Nicky as an Actors’ Showcase
Elaine May populated her gangster-film masterpiece with acting heavyweights who could bring spontaneity to their roles. Critics Richard Brody and Carrie Rickey talk about her approach to performance in this clip.
How Hitchcock Pulled off a Shot for the Ages
Award-winning cinematographer John Bailey discusses the complications that Alfred Hitchcock faced trying to execute one of the most ambitious shots in his filmography.