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Imitation of Life ()


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An aspiring white actress takes in an African-American widow whose mixed-race daughter is desperate to be seen as white.

Director:
Awards:
  • Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations.
  • See more »
Reviews:

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Cast verified as complete

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Lora Meredith
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Steve Archer
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Susie (16)
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Sarah Jane (18)
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Allen Loomis
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David Edwards
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Annie Johnson
Karin Dicker ...
Sarah Jane (8)
Terry Burnham ...
Susie (6)
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Young Man
Lee Goodman ...
Photographer
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Showgirl
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Frankie
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Annette
David Tomack ...
Mr. McKenney
Joel Fluellen ...
Minister
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Tom
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Fat Man on Beach
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Teacher
Than Wyenn ...
Romano
Peg Shirley ...
Fay
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Choir Soloist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Party Guest (uncredited)
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Furniture Mover (uncredited)
Chuckie Bradley ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ...
Preston Mitchell (uncredited)
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Man at Coney Island (uncredited)
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Marching Band Member (uncredited)
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Security (uncredited)
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Actor at Audition (uncredited)
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McKinney (uncredited)
Paul Cristo ...
Show Spectator (uncredited)
Joe Darensbourg ...
Marching Band Member (uncredited)
Robert Darin ...
Waiter (uncredited)
Mike De Lay ...
Marching Band Member (uncredited)
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Lora's Friend (uncredited)
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Self (uncredited) (archiveFootage)
Cicely Evans ...
Louise Morton (uncredited)
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Iris Dawn (uncredited)
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Geraldine Moore (uncredited)
George Ford ...
Show Spectator (uncredited)
Paul Gustine ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Tedd Hadfield ...
Cop (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Lynne Hunter ...
Teacher (uncredited)
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Doctor (uncredited)
Paul Levitt ...
Waiter (uncredited)
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Bit Part (uncredited)
John Marlowe ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
John McNamara ...
Doctor (uncredited)
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Watchman (uncredited)
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Bit Part (uncredited)
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Cop at Funeral (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ...
Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
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Audience Member (uncredited)
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Audience Member (uncredited)
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Funeral Onlooker (uncredited)
Cap Somers ...
Truck Driver (uncredited)
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Bit Part (uncredited)
Ted Thorpe ...
Dog Owner (uncredited)
Jeanne Westmore ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
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Kenneth - Lora's Butler (uncredited)

Directed by

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Douglas Sirk

Written by

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Eleanore Griffin ... (screenplay) and
Allan Scott ... (screenplay)
 
Fannie Hurst ... (novel)

Produced by

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Ross Hunter ... producer

Music by

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Frank Skinner
Henry Mancini ... (uncredited)

Cinematography by

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Russell Metty ... director of photography

Film Editing by

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Milton Carruth

Art Direction by

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Alexander Golitzen
Richard H. Riedel

Set Decoration by

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Russell A. Gausman
Julia Heron

Costume Design by

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Bill Thomas ... (gowns)

Makeup Department

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Larry Germain ... hair stylist
Bud Westmore ... makeup artist
Del Armstrong ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Nick Marcellino ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Lynn F. Reynolds ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Lavaughn Speer ... hair stylist (uncredited)
Pat Westmore ... hair stylist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Norman Deming ... production manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Frank Shaw ... assistant director
Wilson Shyer ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

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Robert Laszlo ... props (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Leslie I. Carey ... sound
Joe Lapis ... sound
Glenn E. Anderson ... sound (uncredited)
Ralph Brown ... sound (uncredited)
Henry Janssen ... sound (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Monty Phillips ... lead digital artist (uncredited) (digital restoration)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Clifford Stine ... special photography
Charles Cowie ... grip (uncredited)
Ledge Haddow ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Rollie Lane ... still photographer (uncredited)
Max Nippell ... gaffer (uncredited)
Eddie Pyle ... camera operator (uncredited)
Roy Vaughn ... assistant camera (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Jean Louis ... gowns: Lana Turner
Martha Bunch ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Rydo Loshak ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Rosamonde Lytele ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

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Joseph Gershenson ... music supervisor
Jo Ann Greer ... singing voice: Susan Kohner (uncredited)
Ethmer Roten ... musician: flute (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

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Luanna S. Poole ... script supervisor (uncredited)

Additional Crew

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David Webb ... Jewels
Wayne Fitzgerald ... title designer (uncredited)
Don Morgan ... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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. However, Annie's little girl Sarah Jane is by far the worst. 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 trying to pass 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 Keywords
Taglines "I'll get the things I want out of life, one way or another...from one man to another!" See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Mirage de la vie (France)
  • Solange es Menschen gibt (Germany)
  • Imitación a la vida (Spain)
  • Αυτή Είναι η Ζωή μου (Greece)
  • 悲しみは空の彼方に (Japan, Japanese title)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 125 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $2,000,000 (estimated)
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $25,000,000, 01 Jan 1970

Did You Know?

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Trivia The funeral scene hit a little too close to home for Lana Turner. As Mahalia Jackson started singing, she lost control and fled to her trailer in tears. When no arguments could convince her to return to the church and shoot the scene, her makeup woman slapped her in the face, breaking her out of her hysterics. She then returned to the set and completed the scene perfectly. 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Home Stories (1990). See more »
Soundtracks Imitation of Life 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 »
Quotes Annie: How do you tell a child that she was born to be hurt?
See more »

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