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I've always liked this movie (Joan Crawford and Eve Arden) and only found out recently that it was based on a book, so of course had to read it. It wasn't really what I expected -- in some ways it was better than the movie, in others worse. Better in that we get a fuller explanation of why Veda is the way she is, and why her mother puts up with it, but worse in that Mildred comes off as much stupider. The ending is completely different from the movie, much less dramatic; it ends -- literally -- not with a bang but a whimper. Cain apparently also wrote Double Indemnity (another favorite movie of mine) and The Postman Always Rings Twice. His writing isn't anything terrific -- the characters are two-dimensional and cliche, for the most part; maybe that's why they did better as movies where that doesn't matter so much. Bottom line: meh. May have to see the Winslet version, just so I can compare.

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