Mildred Pierce

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USA | 1945 | 111 minutes | Michael Curtiz

July 27, 2019

Dressed to the Nines: Style in Cinema

In one of her most towering performances, Joan Crawford plays Mildred Pierce, a woman who saves herself and her daughters from a bad marriage, rising from the ashes to become a self-made restauranteur, all while attempting to give her eldest daughter Veda (Ann Blyth) a good life, despite clear signs that Veda resents Mildred to no end. Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Angels with Dirty Faces) adapts James M. Cain's popular pulp novel into a crafty and malignant hybridization of tropes found in both the women's picture and film noir. Tracing Mildred's upward mobility, Milo Anderson's costumes go from gingham to glamour as they chart the definitive Joan Crawford rise to power.

Costume design is one of the essential elements of filmmaking. In the hands of a talented designer, wardrobe reveals character and informs story. The studio system at its height spawned a roster of legendary names known for their sartorial skill, from Adrian to Edith Head. SIFF's summer repertory series spans the decades, returning six landmark films to the big screen, making them available to view through the prism of extraordinary costume design. Come see a host of Hollywood stars dressed to the nines, Saturdays at one at the SIFF Cinema Uptown.

All films in the series will be hosted by Rosemarie and Vince Keenan, who under the pen name Renee Patrick, write the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award nominated mystery novels featuring costume designer Edith Head. They have introduced films on Turner Classic Movies and at the Noir City Film Festivals at both SIFF and in Los Angeles.

  • Director: Michael Curtiz
  • Principal Cast: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1945
  • Running Time: 111 minutes
  • Producer: Jerry Wald
  • Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall
  • Cinematographers: Ernest Haller
  • Language: English