“Mildred!” shouts a man before he is shot to death. This is the opening scene for one of the true jewels of Film Noir. Joan Crawford made one of the greatest comebacks in movie history with her performance as the title character, a mother who works endlessly to provide a luxurious life for her spoiled daughter Veda (Ann Blyth in a chilling performance). This film marked Crawford’s return to movies after a two-year absence following her departure for MGM. Crawford reportedly only won this role after Bette Davis, Rosalind Russell and Barbara Stanwyck all turned it down. Crawford gladly accepted the part, and the Best Actress Oscar that followed.