MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 117 this week

Imitation of Life (1959)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  30 April 1959 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,552 users  
Reviews: 138 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 21 May 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 28 Jul 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 24 Dec 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 02 Jan 2014
 
a list of 24 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Imitation of Life (1959)

Imitation of Life (1959) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Imitation of Life.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that's therefore unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: John Gavin, Liselotte Pulver, Jock Mahoney
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a toy manufacturer feels ignored and unappreciated by by his wife and children, he begins to rekindle a past love when a former employee comes back into his life.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Joan Bennett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon
Peyton Place (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan
All I Desire (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1910, a wayward mother re-visits the family she deserted.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Carlson, Lyle Bettger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of a friendship between an eccentric journalist and a daredevil barnstorming pilot.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone
Interlude (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The story of a young woman, Helen Banning, who travels to Munich in search of life experience and romance. While working for America House, she meets a famous symphony conductor, Tonio ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: June Allyson, Rossano Brazzi, Marianne Koch
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After a married woman and her lover murder her cruel husband, they find themselves targeted by someone who is aware of their crime.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Lana Turner, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
Edit

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
Edit

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 All (189) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

In the top right corner as David Edwards arrives in Lora's living room after she becomes famous. See more »

Quotes

Steve: Your bones...
Lora Meredith: What about my bones?
Steve: They're perfect. My camera could easily have a love affair with 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 Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Empty Arms
Written by Arnold Hughes & Frederick Herbert
Performed by Susan Kohner dubbed by Jo Ann Greer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
canned goods as caviar: Sirks last masterpiece.
8 May 2005 | by (warren michigan) – See all my reviews

For a long time Douglas Sirk was dismissed by all but he most insightful critics. It was thought that he made a series of well crafted, well acted, but ultimately empty"weepies"(as well as "americana" films, a swashbuckler( Captain Lightfoot), a revisionist western( Taza Son of Cochise),and a sandals and toga epic(Sign of the Pagan.)

However, the "weepies" have been reevaluated( and the Americana films may be reevaluated as well).Sirk is now seen as one of the most significant American directors of the fifties, and, perhaps, as one of the hundred greatest directors of all time. Imitation of Life was his last Hollywood pictures, and one of his best. I call this film, "Canned goods as caviar", because it is an example of taking a "low brow" genre and transforming it into art. Sure, the music is melodramatic, sure the performances by Gavin and Turner are somewhat contrived), sure, the story is campy, but Sirk in his genius transforms melodrama into a scathing critique of materialism, conformity, and racism. Sirk was no cynic, but a rigorous moralist-a superbly educated and sensitive man, steeped in European and American literature.

One of the most astonishing-and misunderstood- elements in this picture is the incandescent performance by Juanita Moore. Moore achieves what is almost impossible; she portrays human goodness. Ican rarely think of a time when an American film has more saintly, more purely Christian figure.


73 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The most BEAUTIFUL dresses and gowns I've ever seen in any movie... aircrftmec
After her racist boyfriend beat her up....why didnt they obryan864
This Is A Very Real Problem jynger71
I hate to say it but.... jennygerms21-226-534587
This is horrible.... rajiv_kuin
Zorah Neale Hurston and other fun facts ClassicMovieholic
Discuss Imitation of Life (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?