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Trivia / Mildred Pierce

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  • Career Resurrection: Joan Crawford had been dubbed 'Box Office Poison' and steadily made a series of flops for MGM. Likewise in her first two years with Warner Bros, she had turned down numerous scripts. This earned her an Oscar and got her back on track.
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: After seeing the film, James M. Cain sent Joan Crawford a signed first edition of the original novel. The inscription read: "To Joan Crawford, who brought Mildred Pierce to life just as I had always hoped she would be, and who has my lifelong gratitude."
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  • Enforced Method Acting: According to Ann Blyth, Joan Crawford told her to actually slap her during the staircase scene.
  • Executive Meddling: When Warner Bros. bought the rights to the novel, they ordered it rewritten to be in line with James M. Cain's other noir stories. While it is widely rumored that the changes were done to appease The Hays Code, in truth they were made because studio executives thought no one would see a movie where a mother is treated like a doormat for 111 minutes.
  • Fake American: In the miniseries, English Kate Winslet as Mildred, Australian Guy Pearce as Monty, and Irish Brian F. O'Byrne as Bert.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Although Evan Rachel Wood does have musical experience, in the miniseries her singing voice is supplied by Sumi Jo (Veda is an opera singer).
  • Playing Against Type:
    • The movie: Joan Crawford playing a doormat, Ann Blyth in a rare villain role, and Jack Carson (a notable comedian of the 1940s) playing a slimy yet charming corrupt businessman.
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    • The novel itself can be seen as such, as James Cain (who wrote Mildred Pierce) was a noted crime noir writer.
  • Reality Subtext: Much like Mildred had, Joan Crawford had supported herself as a waitress and saleswoman before finding success.
  • Wag the Director: Joan Crawford was in constant clashes with Michael Curtiz over her character's wardrobe. The director was annoyed that Crawford was trying to make Mildred look more glamorous than she should. Crawford insisted she was buying all her clothes off the rack, but she was still secretly having her costume designer altering the waists and padding the shoulders.
  • What Could Have Been: