The daring, perpetually underrated films of actress-turned-director Ida Lupino stand as taboo-busting dissections of 1950s America. This bitter anti–family values smackdown stars Claire Trevor as a tough-as-nails stage—er, make that court—mother who will stop at nothing to mold her tennis-prodigy daughter (Sally Forrest) into a national champion, and in the process winds up creating a monster. As poisonous a parent-child portrait as Mildred Pierce, the film is distinguished by Lupino’s sensitivity to the conundrum faced by her antiheroines, complex women who are stifled by a society that forces them to choose between personal happiness and their ambition. 16mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
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