Thursday, April 28, 2011

“Mildred Pierce”

I really did my homework last month: read James M. Cain’s 1941 novel, watched Joan Crawford and her shoulder pads emote their way to an Oscar in the noirish 1945 film version, and appreciated Kate Winslet and a fine cast in HBO’s uber-faithful, five-part adaptation. I even tracked down Edmund Wilson’s famous 1940 essay, “The Boys in the Backroom,” in which Wilson rates Cain above Saroyan, O’Hara, Hammett and Steinbeck.
All I failed to do was write up my undoubtedly brilliant insights in a timely fashion. I was all set last week to finally share my thoughts when I made the mistake of reading the latest issue of The Atlantic, in which the magazine’s excellent Benjamin Schwarz writes about all of the above—and writes it so well that I decided to direct you to his essay rather than basically say the same things (Schwarz even refers to Wilson, and I thought I was really on to something clever there). So go to, or better yet subscribe to The Atlantic.
Memo to Benjamin Schwarz: I’m next planning to write about Doris Day’s debut movie, ‘Romance On the High Seas,” so please give me a break and leave that topic alone. Now if only I can find a reference to Doris in the works of Edmund Wilson . . .


Blogger MADHACK said...

And you are funny - of course. And generous. Can't wait to go to Doris Day. lc

6:12 PM  

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