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Encyclopedia > Imitation of Life (1959 film)
Imitation of Life

DVD cover
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Produced by Ross Hunter
Written by Fannie Hurst (novel)
Eleanore Griffin
Allan Scott
Starring Lana Turner
John Gavin
Sandra Dee
Music by Frank Skinner
Sammy Fain
Henry Mancini
Cinematography Russell Metty
Editing by Milton Carruth
Distributed by Universal International Pictures
Released April 17, 1959
Running time 125 min.
Country USA
Language English
Budget $2,000,000 (estimated)
IMDb profile

Imitation of Life is a 1959 film directed by Douglas Sirk, adapted from Fannie Hurst's novel Imitation of Life, produced by Universal as a vehicle for Lana Turner. It is a remake of the 1934 Imitation of Life. The story was considerably altered so that the black housekeeper helps her white employer achieve fame as an actress instead of an entrepreneur. This version of Imitation of Life was director Douglas Sirk's final major film, and is considered one of his best. Douglas Sirk - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Ross Hunter, born Martin Fuss (May 6, 1920 - March 10, 1996), was a noted Hollywood film producer. ... Fannie Hurst in 1932, portrait by Carl Van Vechten. ... Allan Scott (May 23, 1906, Arlington, New Jersey, USA - April 13, 1995, Santa Monica, California) was a screenwriter that was nominated for an Academy Award for So Proudly We Hail!. Allan was the father of actor Pippa Scott, and brother of film producer and screenwriter Adrian Scott. ... Lana Turner Lana Turner (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an American actress famed early in her career for her appearances in tight sweaters, and her smoldering sensuality, and later in her career for sudsy romance films with maximal glamorous evening gowns and tragedy. ... John Gavin (born John Anthony Golenor on April 8, 1928) is an American film actor and former US Ambassador to Mexico. ... Sandra Dee (April 23, 1944 – February 20, 2005) was an American film actress best known for her role as Gidget. Born Alexandra Zuck to John and Mary Zuck, in Bayonne, New Jersey, Dee, of Rusyn ancestry, was a professional model by the age of four. ... For the composer of the same name, see Frank Skinner (composer) Frank Skinner Frank Skinner (b. ... Sammy Fain (Samuel Feinberg, June 17, 1902 - December 6, 1989) was an Jewish-American composer of popular music. ... Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994), was a noted American composer and arranger. ... Universal Studios logo Universal Studios is an informal designation for NBC Universal Inc. ... April 17 is the 107th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (108th in leap years). ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Douglas Sirk - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Fannie Hurst in 1932, portrait by Carl Van Vechten. ... This cover to a reprint of Fannie Hurst Imitation of Life features a still from the 1959 Universal Pictures adaptation of the novel, starring Lana Turner (far right) and Juanita Moore (second from left). ... Lana Turner Lana Turner (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an American actress famed early in her career for her appearances in tight sweaters, and her smoldering sensuality, and later in her career for sudsy romance films with maximal glamorous evening gowns and tragedy. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Imitation of Life is a 1934 film directed by John M. Stahl, adapted by William Hurlbut from Fannie Hursts novel Imitation of Life. ... Douglas Sirk - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...

Contents


Plot

Turner plays Lora Meredith, a struggling widow with plans to become a famous Broadway actress. She takes in Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore) and her daughter Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner), so that Annie can take care of Meredith's daughter Suzie (Sandra Dee). Meredith becomes a successful star, but at the cost of a true relationship with her daughter, who as a teenager falls for her mother's boyfriend, Steve Archer (John Gavin). Meanwhile, Annie has her own problems with Sarah Jane, who wants to pass for white and runs away from home to do so, causing Annie to fall ill and eventually die of a broken heart. As in the original film, a remorseful Sarah Jane resurfaces during the processional for Annie's lavish funeral, begging her deceased mother to forgive her. However, unlike the 1934 version, the romantic triangle of Lora, Steve and Suzie remains ambiguous and unresolved. Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... Juanita Moore (born October 19, 1922 in Los Angeles, California) is an African-American actress. ... Susan Kohner (born November 11, 1936 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress. ... Sandra Dee (April 23, 1944 – February 20, 2005) was an American film actress best known for her role as Gidget. Born Alexandra Zuck to John and Mary Zuck, in Bayonne, New Jersey, Dee, of Rusyn ancestry, was a professional model by the age of four. ... John Gavin (born John Anthony Golenor on April 8, 1928) is an American film actor and former US Ambassador to Mexico. ...


Release and critical reaction

Sirk's Imitation of Life premiered in New York City on April 17, 1959, and Universal put the film into general release on April 30. Both Moore and Kohner were nominated for the 1960 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Nickname: The Big Apple Official website: City of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Geographical characteristics Area Total 468. ... April 17 is the 107th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (108th in leap years). ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining, as the last day in April. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ...


Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven (2002) is an homage to Sirk's work, in particular Imitation of Life and All That Heaven Allows. Maverick, onetime New Queer Cinema director Todd Haynes was born on January 2, 1961, in Encino, California, and has had a controversial career. ... Far from Heaven is a 2002 film which tells the story of a housewife in 1950s Connecticut whose husband is a closet homosexual who tries to deny and overcome it, but eventually leaves her for another man. ... For the Cusco album, see 2002 (album). ... For a description of the medieval homage ceremony see commendation ceremony Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom you feel indebted. ... All That Heaven Allows is a 1955 drama and May_September romance in which a well_to_do widow (Jane Wyman), living in a small town, decides to marry a handsome younger man (Rock Hudson) who owns a small landscaping business. ...


Trivia

  • Fredi Washington, the actress who plays the light-skinned daughter Peola in the 1934 film, was an actual light-skinned African American, who was noted for turning down a number of offers by Hollywood agents to pass for white and become a star. Although many African Americans were screen-tested for the Sarah Jane role in the 1959 remake, Susan Kohner, of Mexican and Caucasian decent, won the role.
  • Sirk depicted the Annie/Sarah Jane relationship with even more melodrama than the original versions of the story, and some critics commented that Moore and Kohner stole the film from Turner. Sirk later admitted that he had deliberately and subversively undercut Turner to draw focus towards the problems of the two black characters.
  • Lana Turner's wardrobe was, at a cost of over $1.078 million, one of the most expensive in cinema history at that time[1].
  • Mahalia Jackson sings "Trouble of the World" at Annie's funeral, and receives star billing for doing so (she appears in no other scenes in the film).

Fredi Washington (Fredericka Carolyn Washington) (December 23, 1903 - June 28, 1994) was an African-American film actress of the 1930s. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... ... Susan Kohner (born November 11, 1936 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ... Mahalia Jackson Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911–January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer, widely regarded as the best in the history of the genre. ... AMC was originally a basic cable channel that aired classic movies, largely pre-1950s, in a commercial-free, generally unedited format. ... Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a cable television channel similar to American Movie Classics (AMC) featuring classic movies from the Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. ... Coaxial cable is often used to transmit cable television into the house Cable television or Community Antenna Television (CATV) (often shortened to cable) is a system of providing television, FM radio programming and other services to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted directly to people’s televisions through fixed optical... The official DVD logo. ... Error creating thumbnail: convert: unable to open image `/mnt/upload3/wikipedia/en/0/0c/Universal_logo. ...

References

  • Fischer, Lucy, ed. (1991). Imitation of Life: Douglas Sirk, Director, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813516455.
  • Handzo, Steven (1997). Intimations of Lifelessness. Bright Lights Film Journal. URL accessed on December 28, 2005.

December 28 is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 3 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

This cover to a reprint of Fannie Hurst Imitation of Life features a still from the 1959 Universal Pictures adaptation of the novel, starring Lana Turner (far right) and Juanita Moore (second from left). ... Fannie Hurst in 1932, portrait by Carl Van Vechten. ... Imitation of Life is a 1934 film directed by John M. Stahl, adapted by William Hurlbut from Fannie Hursts novel Imitation of Life. ... John Malcolm Stahl (January 21, 1886 – January 12, 1950) was an American film director and producer. ...

External links


 
 

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