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.
Donald Richie Uncovers the Traces of a Lost Japan
In collaboration with director Lucille Carra, the renowned writer brought his impressionistic travelogue The Inland Sea—an unusual choice for a film adaptation—to the big screen.
A Palette That Sizzles On-Screen
Filmmaker Darnell Martin and writer Nelson George discuss how vividly Do the Right Thing captures the heat of a Brooklyn summer and the diverse skin tones of its cast of color.
A Genius of French Cinema Delivers a Career-Defining Performance
Raimu is at his subtle best in one of the most moving scenes in The Baker’s Wife, a moment in which the actor channels the collective despair of France’s working class.