Continuing my posts about the Golden age Of Hollywood, and today’s pick is the above title, adapted from the novel by James M Cain.
One of the things I appreciate about that era is that films were chosen and adapted/written for women.
This also was the start of Joan Crawfords film Noir career especially when she was fired from MGM and was taken on by Warner Brothers.
Mildred is a dowdy housewife in suburbia whose sole reason for living is to give her girls everything she didn’t have a s a child, especially her older daughter Vida.
She bakes goods for people in the neighborhood to make extra money to pay for music lessons dance classes for her girls.
She even forsakes her husbands needs for the girls they always come first no matter what.
Her husband feels neglected and leaves her for another woman, Mildred realising that without him she has nothing gets a job in a restaurant as a waitress, and works her way up much to the disgust of her older child Vida, who feels she’s entitled to a much better life.
Life improves and Mildred meets Monty and buys his property and opens her own business, she fancies herself in love with Monty and he gives her the class her daughter feels they deserve.
Things with Vida go from bad to worse and she ends up having an affair with Monty, though he rejects her as he sees her as she really is, and he is just a spoiled playboy with no money they both use and betray Mildred in the worst way.
Vida shoots and kills Monty and Mildred still even at this late stage tries to save her daughter by blaming her business partner, her husband not the cad he appeared to supports Mildred at the end, the closing shot of them leaving the police station after Vida is charged.
This is melodrama at it’s finest, Joan Crawford winning the Best Actress Oscar, even though made over sixty years this movie still stands the test of time.