Black SplatMildred Pierce (1945)

"Get out before I kill you!"

Mildred Pierce - Mildred threatens daughter, Veda

Description: The furious proclamation of Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) whose troubled daughter Veda Pierce (Ann Blyth) has been bringing her mother untold grief in the motion picture Mildred Pierce (1945).

Mldred Pierce is married with two girls 10-year-old Kay (Jo Ann Marlowe) and 16-year-old Veda. Her husand Albert "Bert" Pierce (Bruce Bennetet) works as a real estate agent with a shady character named Wally Fay (Jack Carson) who sought Mildred's affection unsuccessfully.

When Bert loses his job, he begins to quarrel with wife because she spends so much of her time doting over her two daughters. Feeling alientated, Bert seeks the affection of another woman named Maggie Biederhof (Lee Patrick).

Soon, Mildred and Bert separate and left to fend for herself, Mildred takes a job as a waitress at a downtown restaurant so she can provide her children, food to eat, a place to sleep and clothes on their back. To make extra income Mildred makes and sells pies to provide dancing lessons for Kay and singing and piano lessons for Veda.

When daughter, Kay dies of pneumonia, Mildred focuses all of her attention on her remaining child. To improve the family's standing Mildred, uses her experience gained as a waitress, to opens her own restaurant ("Mildred's"). But no matter what Mildred did, Veda always wanted more and more.

In pursuit of money, Veda secretly marries Theodore 'Ted' Ellison Forrester (John Compton), the son of a well-to-do family. When Ted's family try to annul the mariage, Veda claims to be pregnant and with the help of Wally Fay, she negotiates a $10,000 settlement for a promise to go away.

Mildred Pierce - Vera eyes her blackmail check

Greedily eyeing her check, Veda kisses it, and says, "Did you see the look on his face when we told him he was going to be a father. Uncomfortble, her mother, Mildred replies, "I wish you wouldn't joke about it." Veda laughs, and says, "Mother you're a scream, really you are...the next thing I know you will be knitting little garments."

"Veda, I think I’m really seeing you for the first time in my life-and you’re cheap and horrible." - Mildred Pierce

Mildred realizes that Veda is not pregnant and had schemed to get the money. "How could you do such a thing?" Suddenly, the truth about Mildred's relationship with her "dear" daughter becomes quite clear.

Mildred: Money. That's what you live for, isn't it . You'd do anything for money. Even blackmail.
Veda: Oh, grow up!
Mildred: I never denied you anything. Anything money could buy, I've given you. But that wasn't enough, was it? All right, Veda from now on everything is going to be different.
Veda: I'll say they're going to be different. Why do you thing I went to all of this trouble? Why do you think I want money so badly?
Mildred: Alright, why?
Veda: Are you sure you want to know?
Mildred: Yes.
Veda: Then I'll tell you. With this money I can get away from you.
Mildred: Veda.
Veda: From you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture. And this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls.
Mildred: I think I’m really seeing you for the first time in my life—and you’re cheap and horrible.
Veda: You think just because you made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't, because you'll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money I can get away from every rotten, stinking thing that make me think of this place or you.
Mildred: Veda! Give me that check!
Veda: Not on your life.
Mildred: I said give me that check! [Mildred tear up the check and Veda slaps her mother in the face] Get out, Veda. Get your things out of this house right now before I throw them into the street and you with them. Get out before I kill you!”

Veda leaves home and lives a less that luxurious life as a singer in a cheap club owned by Wally Fay. Now remorseful, Mildred wants Vera to return home but Veda refuses unless Mildred agrees to give her a life of luxury. To satisfy her daughter's wishes, Mildred marries formerly wealthy Monte Beragan (Zachery Scott), a playboy with social standing in exchange for a third of her businesses. But Monte sqaunders his share of the money. The bills from Monte's extravagant lifestyle eventually forces Mildred to lose her business to Wally.

Now you would think that Veda would finally be grareful to her mother, but, instead, the ungrateful Veda has an affair with Monte. And when he refuses to marry her, she fires six bullets into Monte who then falls dead to the floor.

The police solve the crime, while Veda blames Mildred for making her the way she is. but Mildred washes her hands of her wretched daughter and leaves the police station where she had been brought for questioning.

Outside she meets her first husband, Bert who through all of these years has remained her loyal friend. Together the walk away arm in arm into the night.


Note: Earlier in the film, Mildred spoke with her friend Ida Corwin (Eve Arden), saying, “You don’t know what it’s like being a mother, Ida. Veda’s a part of me. Maybe she didn’t turn out as well as I’d hope she would when she was born, but she’s still my daughter and I can’t forget that.” Ida, always ready with a witty comeback offers the morbid quip, "Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young." Ida's also shared her opinion on the opposite sex: "Oh, men. I never yet met one of them that didn't have the instincts of a heel. Sometimes I wish I could get along without them."

In the Mildred Pierce movie trailer, Jack Carson as Wally Fay tells the viewers "Mildred, loving her was like shaking hands with the devil."

Based on the 1941 novel by James M. Cain, the story of Mildred Pierce was revisited in the five part TV mini-series Mildred Pierce (2011) starring Kate Winslet as Mildred and Morgan Turner as Veda.

In the film Victor/Victoria (1982) Peter Arne as Labisse shouts, “If you ever come back, I will have you thrown out!” Robert Preston as Toddy answers, “Don't make it sound like such a threat. Being thrown out of a place like this is significantly better than being thrown out of a leper colony.”

Mildred Pierce - Movie Poster

Mildred Pierce - Movie Poster

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