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Imitation of Life (1934)
In this Academy Award-nominated Best Picture, Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers are superb as two women with young daughters who build a fortune together. But success doesn’t save them from sorrow with the passing years.
Delilah’s light-skinned teenager rejects her mother and her race, while Bea must choose between the man she loves and the daughter who loves him, too. Now all of them will pay the price of love in this spellbinding classic.
Imitation of Life (1959)
Lana Turner heads the outstanding cast with Juanita Moore in the second screen version of this emotionally-charged story about two widows and their troubled daughters.
Lora’s search for success causes her to neglect her daughter, while Annie’s daughter rejects her culture by trying to pass for white. As the years pass, each of the four women realizes that she has been living out an emotionally fruitless existence.Imitation of Life (1959)
The last film in Hollywood of director Douglas Sirk (Written on the Wind), the 1959 Imitation of Life–an adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s novel–is an endlessly fascinating film that speaks volumes about the American journey toward materialism and the racial tensions that are inseparable from it. Lana Turner plays a white single mother and aspiring actress who takes in a black housekeeper (Juanita Moore) and her daughter (played by an adolescent Susan Kohner), the latter so light-skinned she passes for white. As the years pass and success mounts for Turner, Moore also becomes more comfortable but her status as a domestic never changes. Meanwhile, Kohner’s character, chafing against social constraints, rebels at every opportunity and throws a wrench into the perfect order Sirk chillingly captures through the precise, architectural design of his images. On one hand a ’50s weepie and on the other a daring allegory, Imitation of Life is an unusual masterpiece. –Tom Keogh
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