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.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.