Last week, was a week that will live in villany! Speakeasy, Shadows & Satin and Silver Screenings hosted THE GREAT VILLAIN BLOGATHON for 2015. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ve checked out the entries. I, for one, am printing many of them up so I can have them in a handy dandy binder ready for a nice leisurely read.


Click on each photo and get a listed re-cap of each day of the blogathon. And if you don’t see your favorite villain listed, maybe YOU can write about him or her NEXT year…

In some cases, I wasn’t sure if my comments were published on a blogger’s blog. In other instances, my thoughts were too lengthy for each blogger’s comments section, so I thought I’d express my thoughts here. If you want, you can click over to these excellent essays, and then read my responses here:

From Day 1:  Shadows and Satin –  VEDA PIERCE ( Ann Blyth ) – “Mildred Pierce”


One of my favorite characters of the 1940’s has to be VEDA in Mildred Pierce.” ( I don’t know what that says about me, but moving right along… ). Even her smacks of Venom! I don’t think younger sister Kay, could’ve saved Veda’s coal black soul. ( I loved Kay ). Veda’s diatribe is very telling:

“With this money, I can get away from you. From you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease… You think just because you made a little money, you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can’t…With this money I can get away from every rotten, stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you!”

First, where does she get off…( calm down, T. ). Secondly, I think this isn’t really directed at Mildred as much as Veda feels this about her self. Don’t you think it reeks of self-hatred? Yes maybe Mildred did “spare the rod” ( as opposed to breaking it over Veda’s head ) but where is the basis of this attack coming from? Veda wasn’t from the manor born. She wasn’t born elite with maids and servants at her feet ( hats off to The Supremes folks ). It wasn’t like they had Mrs. Danvers on retainer.


As much as it might’ve been some of Mildred’s doing, making Veda the way she is, I can’t help think Veda was trying to fill the hole in her heart. Self-hatred. D’ya think I’m totally off the beam?

VEDA PIERCE ( VILLAIN - III )I can not imagine WHAT 1945 audi-ences felt when they saw Veda in this clinch. This is shocking on so many levels: your mother’s lover / husband. That strikes at the core of…of…of something. It’s shocking to even my 21st-century Baby Boomer sensibilities. Veda’s going to prison. She will finally pay for her actions. And in prison, I imagine Veda wrapping CAGED”  matron Hope Emerson around her little finger. She’ll get by.

Scroll down to the page numbers at the bottom…

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  1. A few years ago, I finally read James M. Cain’s novel of Mildred Pierce, which was the basis for this movie. The Mildred character is quite a bit different and, as written, would never have fit Crawford. (I’m trying to think of an actress from that period who would have matched Cain’s conception–maybe Claire Trevor from the 1930s, but a little more polished.) Veda’s a hard case in the novel also, but on a somewhat different plane. Here are two paragraphs from the novel’s plot synopsis on Wikipedia:

    When Mildred discovers her daughter’s plot to blackmail a wealthy family with a fake pregnancy, she kicks her out of their house. Veda, who has been training to become an opera singer, goes on to a great deal of fame as Mildred convinces her new boyfriend Monty (a young man who, like Mildred, lost his family’s wealth at the start of the Great Depression) to help reconcile them. Unfortunately for Mildred, this means buying Monty’s family estate and using her earnings to pay for Veda’s extravagances. Mildred and Monty marry, but things go sour for her: Wally, her partner in the restaurant business, has discovered that her living like a rich person has dramatically affected the company’s profits. He threatens a coup to force her out of the company. This causes her to confess to her ex-husband Bert that she has been embezzling money from her company in order to buy Veda’s love.

    Needing some of Veda’s money to balance the books – and fearing that Wally might target the girl’s assets if they are exposed – Mildred goes to her house to confront her. She finds Veda in bed with her stepfather. Monty explains to Mildred that he’s leaving her for Veda, who gloats that they have been planning this all along. Mildred snaps, brutally attacking and apparently strangling her daughter, who now appears incapable of singing and loses her singing contract.

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