Blu-ray, DVD Release: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 21, 2017
Price: DVD $19.69, Blu-ray $26.19
Studio: Criterion

Melodrama casts noir-ish shadows in 1945’s Mildred Pierce, a portrait of maternal sacrifice from the Hollywood master Michael Curtiz (Casablanca).

Mildred-Pierce-1_optIts iconic performance by Joan Crawford (Johnny Guitar) as Mildred, a single mother hell-bent on freeing her children from the stigma of economic hardship, solidified Crawford’s career comeback and gave the actor her only Oscar. But as Mildred pulls herself up by the bootstraps, first as an unflappable waitress and eventually as the well-heeled owner of a successful restaurant chain, the ingratitude of her materialistic firstborn (a diabolical Ann Blyth) becomes a venomous serpent’s tooth, setting in motion an endless cycle of desperate overtures and heartless recriminations.

Recasting James M. Cain’s rich psychological novel as a murder mystery, this bitter cocktail of blind parental love and all-American ambition is both unremittingly hard-boiled and sumptuously emotional.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the classic contain the following:

* New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New conversation about Mildred Pierce with critics Molly Haskell and Robert Polito
* Excerpt from a 1970 episode of The David Frost Show featuring actor Joan Crawford
* Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star, a 2002 feature-length documentary on Crawford’s life
* and career
* Q&A with actor Ann Blyth from 2002, conducted by film historian Eddie Muller
* Segment from a 1969 episode of the Today show featuring novelist James M. Cain
* Trailer
* An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.