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Mildred Pierce: Sneak peek at the new HBO miniseries in photos, video

In television on 03/26/2011 at 5:19 pm

The James M. Cain novel Mildred Pierce is brutal and beautiful, a Depression-era Los Angeles mashup of be-careful-what-you-wish-for and what-cost-ambition tossed with a bit of The Bad Seed. Read it. The 1945 film version starring Joan Crawford won her an Oscar and is a great film, but was a twist at best of Cain’s original work, thanks in part to censors discomfort with a key sexual tension in the story. HBO’s miniseries Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet as the over-loving, hard-working single mother who denies her daughter Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) nothing, promises to be more faithful. We shall see. I will blather my opinion Sunday, March 27, which is the same day you can also watch the premiere (Parts 1 and 2) of the five-part miniseries on HBO Canada (9-11 p.m. ET).

Until then, you can and should amuse yourself with the making of (30 minutes, very interesting for anyone with an interest in the costumes (66 costume changes for Winslet alone), the effort of creating 1930s and 1940s Pasadena, Glendale and other L.A. locales in NYC and of the current relevance of Cain’s satire of California climbers. Click here to watch the making-of. And scroll down to view one shot of Joan Crawford in the original film and a handful of others from the new miniseries.

Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce, from Gazette archives.

Kate Winslet as the title character in HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

Mildred (Kate Winslet) and Monty (Guy Pearce) in HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

Grown-up Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) and mother Mildred (Kate Winslet) in HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

Young Veda (Morgan Turner) and mother Mildred (Kate Winslet) in HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

Mildred (Kate Winslet) and Monty (Guy Pearce) in HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

Grown-up Veda (Evan Rachel Wood) in HBO's Mildred Pierce, courtesy of HBO

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