Mildred Pierce (1945) – Film-Noir

Starring Joan Crawford, this classic film noir is intriguing because it revolves around a successful woman. The film begins with a murder and Pierce is taken in for questioning. From that point on she tells the story of her life with her first husband and two daughters. However, Pierce was in conflict with her husband about their spoiled daughter Veda and they split. She was forced to go it alone in the business world and make something of herself. However, her spoiled daughter and complex relationships with men made her life painful. She was now a wealthy restaurant owner but Veda no longer loved her. Pierce tried in every way to win back this love However, her efforts were not enough to save Veda from her fate. This film is certainly enjoyable and Crawford does a wonderful job because for once you actually feel sorry for her. She has a solid cast behind her including Ann Blyth, Eve Arden, and Jack Carson.

4.5/5 Stars

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

671b8-cat_roofAdapted from the Tennessee Williams play, the film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Burl Ives, with Jack Carson, and Judith Anderson. The film opens with Brick Pollick (Newman) injuring himself while he is drunk one night. The next day he is still constantly drinking and cold to his wife Maggie (Taylor). We learn this is because of the death of a friend. At the same time Big Daddy (Ives) arrives to celebrate his birthday with his family. The evening is full of angst and conflict over Big Daddy’s health, lies, truth, power, and love. Maggie wants Brick to look out for his interests based upon the conniving actions of his brother’s wife. Brick wants nothing of it and eventually tells his father so. They reconcile and Brick makes up with Maggie ending this film on a positive note. This film was certainly full of unrest and drama showing people struggling in love and figuring out their lives.

4/5 Stars