Drink & Watch: Mildred Pierce

How about a drink? Let's have a drink first. Have a drink and we'll talk about it. Who wants a drink? 

Those are all lines you'll hear repeatedly throughout the Academy Award-winning classic Mildred Pierce, an almost noir-ish account of a determined single mother raising a millennial daughter more than sixty years before we even knew what millennials were. Joan Crawford, in true Mommy Dearest form, drinks like a fish throughout the film. She drinks so much Bourbon in her role as restaurateur that it probably impressed the hell out of the judges who eventually gave her the Oscar for best actress. Of course, with classic liter-sized bottles of "Kentucky Hill" like the one pictured above, who could lay off the stuff? 

Once you get past the first twenty minutes, there's hardly a moment where Joanie isn't slamming down glasses of brown water with various eager gentlemen. At one point my wife said to me: "Jesus, is that all they did back then? Drink and look glamorous?"

Yes, and that's why we loved them.

That is until we found out they were also drunken lunatics who were secretly abusing their adopted children by whipping them with wire hangers, but that was real life Joan Crawford. I much prefer the fantasy version of Mildred Pierce on the silver screen. I broke out my 1.75 liter of Very Old Barton (an annual Walgreen's of downtown Louisville purchase) and went to town along with her yesterday afternoon. 

"I drink it straight now," Crawford says at one point in the film to the surprise of her suitor. Yes, you most definitely do, Joan. You most definitely do.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll