During the classical film era, the only way to see a classical film was to go to a movie theater. Going to the movies was considered a social activity during the classical era. The classical film’s distinguishing characteristic was that it was quickly grasped and appealed to the general public. It was universal in its message, and the film industries that produced these videos expected that people of all generations would watch them in theaters. Hollywood films often viewed their audience as a large group of people of various ages (Balio 2013, pg. 3).
During the postwar era, Hollywood films underwent significant transformation in terms of its central character’s, flashback sequences and voice overs narration. The discrepancy between the original novel and the film is the imposing vision of the producer led to great difficulties in the production and development of the script. Mildred pierce camera movements and fluidity is used to tell the story in an effortless and economic way. The film breaks the normal conventions of Hollywood classical style of production. Most of the movies that were produced by manufacturers usually depicted men as tough guys but Mildred pierce piece was different as the woman played the lead role (Cook 1978, p.74).
Mildred Pierce Film Analysis.
Mildred pierce is a film noir of the 1940s. A film noir requires that a film that it be shot in black & white, with heavy saturation on the shadows, should have a morally ambiguous universe, and should contain a femme fatale and her sap. The film analyses the story of Mildred who is divorced by her husband and is forced to raise her daughters alone (Truhler 2011, Np.).
According to Hastie (2011, p.29), Veda pierce is the femme fetal in the movie since she is portrayed as a ruthless lady without a soul. She expresses no empathy for her mother who works hard to maintain their lifestyle after she is divorced by her first husband. She blackmails her mother to use her business wealth to maintain her lifestyle, as the condition to get back together with her Mildred. She also goes to bed with her step-father as a way to punish Mildred thereby humiliating her.
Through critically analyzing the film, it is evident that in every frame the scenes inside are shot are shot in precise focus. Everybody who plays a part in any scene is granted the same time frame to prove their character as either good or bad in the film. The silhouette of Monte’s reaction to his marriage announcement on newspaper delineates him as a miscreant. This is a plain display of nourish shadowy effect which has been expressed in such an ambiguous manner that one cannot justify the effect. The film constantly takes us in controversial scenes which make it hard for one to distinguish which of the character is a villain and who is religious. This shows morally ambiguous inverse (Churchwell 2011, p.24).
Mildred is the industrious lady who is depicted as the sap in the film. After Veda faked pregnancy, Mildred chased her out of her home, only to meet her singing in a cheap night club. Mildred felt responsible for the drift between her and Veda and was willing to do anything to reconcile with her daughter. She agrees to marry Monte for a third of her business and spends her life savings and business profits to put Vida in a luxurious lifestyle, which she demanded. Later, Mildred realizes that Monte and Veda are having an affair and threatens to shoot Monte at her backyard, where Monte dies (Hastie 2011, 29).
Buhler, J., Neumeyer, D. and Deemer, R., 2010. Hearing the movies: music and sound in film history (p. 310). New York: Oxford University Press.
Churchwell, S., 2011. Re-reading: Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain. The Guardian, 24.
Cook, P., 1978. Duplicity in Mildred Pierce. Women in film noir, pp.68-82.
Hastie, A., 2011. Sundays with Mildred. FILM QUART, 65(1), pp.25-33.
Truhler, K., 2011. The Style Essentials: Joan Crawford Works Hard in 1945’s Film Noir MILDRED PIERCE’.