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Imitation of Life (1959)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  30 April 1959 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,005 users  
Reviews: 132 user | 41 critic

A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Imitation of Life (1959)

Imitation of Life (1959) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Robert Alda ...
...
David Edwards
...
Karin Dicker ...
Terry Burnham ...
John Vivyan ...
Young Man
Lee Goodman ...
Photographer
...
Showgirl
...
Frankie
Sandra Gould ...
Annette
David Tomack ...
Mr. McKenney
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Storyline

Aspiring actress Lora Meredith meets Annie Johnson a homeless black woman at Coney Island and soon they share a tiny apartment. Each woman has an intolerable daughter, though Annie's little girl Sarah Jane, is by far the worse. Neurotic and obnoxious, Sarah Jane doesn't like being black; since she's light-skinned (her father was practically white), she spends the rest of the film passing as white, much to her mother's heartache and shame. Lora, meanwhile, virtually ignores her own daughter in a single-minded quest for stardom. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actress | love | friend | widow | model | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imitação da Vida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exterior shot of Lora Meredith's lavish ranch style house would later be used for the the exterior shots of the Hart's home in the TV show Hart to Hart (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Steve and Susie go riding together their horses jump a low stone wall which one of the horses knocks revealing the whole thing to be a lightweight single-piece prop. See more »

Quotes

[Sarah Jane enters carrying a serving tray on her head]
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Fetched y'all up a mess 'a crawdads, Miss Lora... fo' you an' yo' friends!
Lora: Well, that's quite a trick, Sarah Jane... where did you learn it?
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Oh, 'tain't no trick ta' totin', Miss Lora! I learned it from my mammy, an' she learned it from ol' massa, 'fo' she belonged to you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Juanita Moore, who plays Annie, is billed with the credit "And Presenting Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson", even though she had already appeared in many films. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rock Hudson: Dark and Handsome Stranger (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Trouble of the World
Words and music by Unknown
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A real melodrama of emotion
25 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What is there to say except I'd defy anyone not to be moved by this movie and you'll never tire of watching it over and over. No one special performance, they're all fantastic! If you enjoy Madame X then Lana Turner out acts herself. The film brings home the feeling we all may have but should not have in that you should never deny your loved ones, especially your mother and you realise that a mother's love really is unconditional. Sit back with a box of choccies,a glass of wine and a box of tissues and ENJOY! This is one of my all time greats! It really is a mother/daughter movie and will definitely bring you closer together.


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After her racist boyfriend beat her up....why didnt they obryan864
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