A Comparative Assessment of the
Representation of Domestic
Violence in Mildred Pierce
of 1945 & 2011
Mildred Pierce has been adapted twice for the screen. Once in 1945 for the cinema and again in 2011 as a TV mini-series.
On both occasions big name stars were cast in the eponymous lead role, but in one case violence which was not present in the original book was introduced to the plot, whereas the later version stuck more closely to the (less violent) source material.
Generally the violence is carried out against family members and those close to the perpetrators, and because the settings are almost entirely domestic, can the violence we find in both texts be classified as domestic violence?
If so, how does this affect its depiction?
How are the genre, narrative and stylistic choices of each filmmaker reflected in the text?
Does the 1945 version have a defined genre?
Why is this important/relevant?
How are the differences represented on screen in the aesthetics of the texts?
Why do they differ so radically?
What is it about the time, audience and genre of each which led the makers to develop two such different texts from the same material?
What does it say about the society which produced the two different versions that they are so widely at variance with regards to violence?