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Mildred Pierce: The Book, Movie & Mini-Series

Updated on August 21, 2014
Mildred Pierce Book
Mildred Pierce Book | Source

Mildred Pierce Plot

Set in the 1930s, Mildred Pierce tells the story of a middle-class woman who is forced to make her own way in a world where women did not have successful careers. She uses her talent for cooking as a way to survive and manages to be very successful in that regard but her survival is jeopardized by her taste for undependable men and her daughter who is simply monstrous.

Mildred Pierce: The Book and The Movies

I first met Mildred Pierce in a recent version (shown here) of the 1941 book written by James M. Cain. Apparently and not surprisingly, the book had a surge in popularity after the release of the first movie in 1945 and once again with the release of the HBO miniseries in 2011, which is when I discovered the book.

I was surprised that I enjoyed all three versions of the story, which often does not happen when you view a movie that has been taken from a book.

If you are considering either reading the books or watching the movies, you might want to know that the subject matter includes a fair bit of alcohol, sexual content, incest and infidelity.

Who Will Enjoy Mildred Pierce?

The story of Mildred Pierce in book and in movie form should appeal to anyone who loves period drama, in this case one set in the years of the Great Depression in the United States.

Mildred Pierce (2011) Miniseries Movie Trailer

Buy The HBO Mildred Pierce Mini-Series From Amazon.

Mildred Pierce (2011)

The Mini-Series Features Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood.

In 2011, the HBO miniseries version of Mildred Pierce was released. It stars Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood and contained five hours of viewing, which follow very closely the storyline from the book. Kate Winslet won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role as Mildred as did Guy Pearce for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as Monty Beragon. The period music was also praised.

Because it was a television mini-series, this movie is not rated but potential viewers should be aware of the issues I raised early. That is that there is alcohol, sexual content, incest and infidelity in this version of the story.

Mildred Pierce (1945) Movie Trailer

Mildred Pierce (1945)
Mildred Pierce (1945) | Source

Mildred Pierce (1945)

The Original Movie Version of Mildred Pierce Featured Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott.

This is the original Mildred Pierce movie, which was released in 1945 and which has been called classic Hollywood melodrama at its best. It a woman's movie and a film noir that manages to be dark, funny and glamorous. It is a black and white look into the world of Mildred Pierce. It stars Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and Ann Blyth and is notable because it was nominated for six Academy Awards and Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Mildred.

While this movie is much shorter than the HBO miniseries, I still enjoyed it. If you enjoy classic movies and film noir, you won't want to miss this one.

Buy The Original Mildred Pierce Movie From Amazon.

Which Mildred Pierce Movie Do You Think Is Better?

Which Mildred Pierce movie Is better?

See results

Chicken and Waffles: A Food Trend

An aside about the food, Chicken and Waffles, that plays an important role in the Mildred Pierce story. I had never even heard of the meal when I read the book and, ever since then I have started seeing and hearing about chicken and waffles at local restaurant. Chicken and waffles have definitely become a food trend, one I finally tested out at a local Ottawa restaurant. You can read more about this food trend by visiting the following link:


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    • TreasuresByBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      I am definitely complete now, LOL! Thanks for the tweet!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      My dear. You have not lived until you're had chicken and waffles! No doubt you now feel complete. :) #HappyHubDay

      (That's my hashtag I'm using for HUBs I share on Hump Day. Tweeting this!)

    • TreasuresByBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      The book is good, too!

      Of note, I was delighted about a year ago to discover Chicken and Waffles on the menu of a few local restaurants and Monday night took the leap and tried them at a local new restaurant -- Hooche Bourbon House. The chicken was southern fried cornish hen -- a dark piece and a light piece -- and placed on two small pieces of waffles drizzled with a maple chipotle sauce. It was delicious!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      So glad you did a contrast and comparison. I have not had the opportunity as yet to watch the 2011 remake of "Mildred Pierc"e, but my opinion is already formulated.

      Joan Crawford got the Academy Award for best actress. Yeah whatever! Who said she was acting? She was probably just being herself. (Get the impression I'm not a Joan Crawford fan? How can you possibly tell?)

      I don't have to see everything that Kate Winslet acts in to know that whatever the role, she brings class to it. She is a classy lady! So even though I haven't seen the remake, when I get around to it, I know I'm going to like it! So I voted in advance.

      Thanks for this review.