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Imitation of Life
- Lana Turner

Overview - In Douglas Sirk's emotionally and visually extravagant final film IMITATION OF LIFE, a life's work of subverted melodrama and razor-sharp social commentary are brought to a resounding and baroque climax. In a role that closely resembles and perhaps parodies her own life, Lana Turner plays Lora Meredith, an aspiring actress and single mother who meets Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore), a black and similarly single and struggling mother.  Read more...

 
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Overview

In Douglas Sirk's emotionally and visually extravagant final film IMITATION OF LIFE, a life's work of subverted melodrama and razor-sharp social commentary are brought to a resounding and baroque climax. In a role that closely resembles and perhaps parodies her own life, Lana Turner plays Lora Meredith, an aspiring actress and single mother who meets Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore), a black and similarly single and struggling mother. When they move in together, Annie assumes the role of domestic servant and the two women struggle together to raise their two daughters. Annie's daughter, Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner), favors her father whose skin tone resembles her own extremely light skin, and she slowly comes to resent her mother's black identity. Transcending the feminist labeling that IMITATION OF LIFE risked, the film freely mixes Meredith's rags to riches (with a hefty moral price tag) tale with Annie's scarring struggles to teach her daughter to accept her identity. As Meredith climbs higher and higher in her glamorous rise to stage and screen stardom, she ignores her vulnerable daughter Susie (Sandra Dee) and creates a devastating contrast for the racial and social tragedy that transpires in her own household. With a deft mixture of icy detachment and morose sentimentality rendered through a transcendent art direction, Sirk leads the film onto an inimitable crescendo of highly adorned emotion and tragedy.

Cast List

Douglas Sirk - Director/Producer
Claus Detlev Sierk - Director/Producer
Detlef Sierck - Director/Producer
Mahalia Jackson - Gospel Singer
Frank Skinner - American Composer/D. 1968
John Gavin - American Actor/Ex-Ambassador/ Boring Guy in PSYCHO
Jack Golenor - American Actor/Ex-Ambassador/ Boring Guy in PSYCHO
Juanita Moore - American Character Actress
Eleanore Griffin - Writer- Harvey Girls
Alexander Golitzen - Oscar winning production designer, SPARTACUS
Ross Hunter - Producer
Martin Fuss - Producer
Robert Alda - American Actor
Allan Scott - Screenwriter of the 1930s to the 1960s
Clifford Stine - Director of Photography, Special Effects, '50s-'70s
Fannie Hurst - Novelist, "Imitation of Life"
Dan O'Herlihy - Irish Actor
Daniel O'Herlihy - Irish Actor
Susan Kohner - American Actress
Russell Metty - American Director of Photography
Richard H. Riedel
Joseph Gershenson - Music Director/Music Supervisor
Joe Gershenson - Music Director/Music Supervisor
J.G. Sanford - Music Director/Music Supervisor
Joseph G. Sanford - Music Director/Music Supervisor
Joseph Sanford - Music Director/Music Supervisor
Sandra Dee - American Actress
Alexandra Zuck - American Actress
Lana Turner - American Actress
Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner - American Actress
Milton Carruth - American Editor\1950s

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 124
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 025192261121
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: August 2006

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Rivalry
Classic
Family Interaction
Race Relations
Tear Jerker
Self-Discovery
Love Triangle
Tragedy
Recommended
Melodrama
Theatrical Release
Racism
Love Affairs
Love Triangles
Love
Essential Cinema
Based On A Novel

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Notes:
"Imitation of Life" was director Douglas Sirk's last feature film. The film was a remake of the 1934 version.

Reviews:
"...A prime example of a brilliant director's stealthy use of a denigrated genre to slip in subtle social comment and genuine pathos..." - 01/24/2003 Entertainment Weekly, p.80


"[P]assionately directed..." - 02/10/2004 USA Today, p.6D


"[A] Lana Turner soap opera turned into an exercise in metaphysical formalism by Sirk's finely textured and densely layered images." - 02/05/2008 New York Times

 
Customer Reviews