12 Tough Movie Mothers, From Well-Meaning to Just Mean

By Suzanne Woolley, Nikhil Hutheesing and Ben Steverman - 2013-05-08T19:35:52Z

Photograph by Everett Collection

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Well Meaning: 'Mildred Pierce'

Film noir classic "Mildred Pierce" (1945) won Joan Crawford an Oscar for best actress playing the title role. (Kate Winslet picked up an Emmy for the same role in an HBO mini-series.) Mildred just can't satisfy her greedy and snobby daughter, Veda, who is horrified when the divorced Mildred gets a job as a waitress to provide for her. As Mildred works around the clock to build a successful restaurant business, Veda is still ungrateful. Even as she spends her mother's money, she seduces Mildred's second husband. Kids!