Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life

DVD - 2002
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The story of two widows and their troubled daughters. In the search for success as an actress, Lora neglects her daughter. Lora's black housekeeper's daughter repudiates her mother by trying to pass for white. As the years pass, each of the four women realizes that she has been living an emotionally fruitless existence.


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Feb 10, 2019

VERY GOOD 2 film collection (1934 film with Claudette Colbert - and 1959 film with Lana Turner) of versions of Fannie Hurst's 1933 Imitation of LIfe novel. Both are interesting period views into emerging social issues.

Nov 14, 2018

This "Imitation of Life" 2-disc set allows the viewer to watch both the original, 1934, b&w film-version of the Fannie Hurst novel, as well as seeing the lush, Technicolor, 1959 remake, too.

These 2 Chick Flicks are "single mother" soap operas that not only focus in on the personal dramas of troubled teenage daughters - But, they also tackle serious racial issues, too.

When it comes to these 2 productions - I certainly preferred the latter, 1959 adaptation, starring Lana Turner, by a long-shot. I mean - Its story definitely packed a whole lot more bitch and bite for one's entertainment dollar. Yep. It sure did....... See for yourself.

Oct 29, 2018

Loved the original 1934 movie; could not wait for the 1959 remake to be over. Great acting by Louise Beavers and Claudette Colbert in the 1934 film, and the relationship between the two women was much more interesting than the 1959 version. Watch both if you've got time, but if not, stick with the original.

Jul 06, 2017

This film is very thought-provoking, and I'm still pondering it a day later. Tough subjects - parental distance (mostly due to wanting to do well in her chosen career and working too much), a child not wanting to be who they are, women being used and using others to get what they want. I thought it was a very good film. The Academy apparently thought so too, as a couple of actors were nominated for best in their category - Juanita Moore ("Annie") and Susan Kohner (Annie's daughter "Sarah Jane").

Sep 22, 2016

This is a 1959 American thought-provoking racial drama directed by Douglas Sirk.
It is the second film adaptation of Fannie Hurst's 1933 novel of the same name.
It is a good movie that reminds me of Turner's love affair with Johnny Stompanato.
Some say that Turner's 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl, also was in love with Stompanato.
In any case, fearing that her mother's life was in danger, Cheryl grabbed a kitchen knife and ran to Turner's defense.
Many theories abound as to what actually happened, but the teenager apparently stabbed Stompanato, killing him.
The murder case quickly became a media sensation.
It was later deemed a justifiable homicide at a coroner's inquest, during which Turner provided dramatic testimony.
Lora Meredith, her daughter Susie and Steve Archer seems to me Lana Turner, Cheryl and Johnny Stompanato respectively.

brendancarlson May 14, 2014

The 1934 version with Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers is brilliant, the 1959 remake with Lana Turner borders on awful.

Feb 04, 2014

Even though I'm pretty immune to having my emotions easily manipulated by the sad, heart-rending events that may take place within the story-line of any given movie, I figured that since Imitation Of Life actually managed to coax genuine tears to well-up in my eyes then it quite rightly earned itself a 3-star rating.

Yes. It's true. Imitation Of Life was, indeed, a very slick & polished "Lana Turner" vehicle, but, in my opinion, she was not this film's real star. Turner was simply just the fluff & frosting on the cake of this otherwise well-crafted, emotionally-charged, melodramatic soap opera.

Under all of the pretentious glitz & glamour of this Lana Turner showpiece, it was the high-voltage relationship that took place between black housekeeper, Annie, and her light-skinned, teenage daughter, Sarah-Jane, who, time and again, stole the show and put an amazing emotional spin on 1950's racism and the bitter selfishness of denying one's own heritage.

When re-evaluated by today's standards, Imitation Of Life is actually quite a remarkable film in that its subplot (that focuses in on Annie and her tormented daughter) allows this picture's story to transcend well beyond being that of just a shallow, predictable, little "Chick Flick".

All-in-all - This lush, glossy, Technicolour melodrama, which was masterfully directed by Douglas Sirk, certainly packed a considerable punch. It was the 4th most successful movie of 1959.

*Note* - While watching Imitation Of Life, please be sure to have a box of tissues close at hand (just in case).... Well, hey, you never, never know when the dam's gonna burst.

Dec 11, 2012

It would be nice to know what the other movie is. Imitation of Life is one of my favorites, but I don't know if I'm ready to see it again. Oh well, reserve it anyway and be surprised I say!

Mocha6ft3 Jun 14, 2012

WOW!!! This is a tough one. You see, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. It has an emotional effect on me whenever i watch this film. Now i don't cry with tears streaming down my face, but it does make me feel sad after watching it. And it's not often. My friend makes fun of me and alway grabs my cheecks and tells me i can place my head on her shoulder. She is funny. This movie is not about sound, but i insist you watch it on your HOMETHEATER!!!! This movie is all about the story and the characters. There are two versions of this movie and i have this one and have it in my collection. Of course!! I'll call my friend over and we will watch the other version. I'm giving this tear jerker 5 stars!!!!!!!!! Great story, Good acting, and i love the characters. Two pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn, brown and white rice, toasted rolls with butter. A glass of wine.

Jun 09, 2012

I am not sure whether this is a Lana Turner vehicle or was just to use her for a more controversial issue (then) of depicting the ills of racism. If it was, the film succeeded! This was 1959 when lynching in the South was still a norm. An added feature to the film is the funeral sequence where a younger Mahalia Jackson sang a complete spiritual.


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