imitation of life movie dvd

Imitation of Life

Director: John M. Stahl

Key Cast: Louise Beavers, Fredi Washington, Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks, Baby Jane, Alan Hale, Henry Armetta, Wyndham Standing, Marilyn Knowlden

Rating: Approved

Genre(s): Drama

Movie Summary

This special DVD contains both versions of the Black Classic Movie "Imitation of Life."

"Imitation of Life" is based on the 1933 best-selling novel by Fannie Hurst named "Imitation of Life." The book
was controversial because it uses the characters and storyline to address the racial, sexual and class prejudices
that existed during the time. The 1934 movie version of "Imitation of Life" was an big hit. Because of the commercial
success of the original "Imitation of Life" movie, a newer version was made in 1959.

1934 Version
Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers star in this version of "Imitation of Life."

Delilah Johnson (Louise Beavers) and Bea Pullman (Claudette Colbert) are two widows who decide to live
together with their daughters in order to make ends meet. Their agreement is that Bea will work outside of the
home while Delilah will stay at home and maintain it. One morning, Delilah makes pancakes for Bea (using a secret
family recipe) that are absolutely delicious. Bea gets the idea to open a restaurant selling Delilah's tasty pancakes.
The business becomes a phenomenal success.

However, life is not necessarily wonderful for Delilah. Her light-skinned daughter, Peola (Fredi Washington)
eventually decides that she wants to live her life passing as someone White. This deeply pains Delilah who is
upset that her daughter wants to live an "Imitation of Life" by rejecting her racial identity.

The 1934 movie "Imitation of Life" was very controversial in the Black community because there were
strongly different opinions about Delilah's daughter's decision to pass for white.

1959 Version
Lana Turner and Juanita Moore star in the 1959 version of "Imitation of Life."

In this version, Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) is a struggling actress who eventually becomes successful and famous.
Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore) is her maid who first befriends her years prior to her success. Both women have
trouble with their daughters. For Meredith, she finds herself in a love triangle with her daughter. For Johnson, she
is painfully confronted with her light-skinned daughter's desire to be White.


•  This movie is based on the book, "Imitation of Life", by Fannie Hurst.  It was inspired by a road trip that she took to Canada with friend and acclaimed African-American short story writer, Zora Neale Hurston.

•  Fredi Washington who plays Delilah’s daughter, Peola, is actually a light-skinned African-American woman. Because she played this role so well, many people in the African-American community thought that she actually didn’t like being black.  But this was not true as Ms. Washington was very active in civil rights organizations.

• Some critics felt that Louise Beavers should have been nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in this movie.

•  "Imitation of Life" was made again in 1959 with Lana Turner and Juanita Moore in the title roles.  The storyline in the newer version was slightly revised.  The 1934 version of Imitation of Life is a more faithful adaptation of the original Fannie Hurst novel.


•  "Imitation of Life" was nominated for three 1935 Academy Awards:  Best Picture, Best Assistant Director (Scott R. Beal)
and Best Sound

• "Imitation of Life" was also selected in 2005 to the Library of Congress National Film Registry

"Imitation of Life" Movie DVD


imitation of life movie dvdBuy the Imitation of Life Two-Movie DVD
This "Imitation of Life" DVD contains both versions of
the movie "Imitation of Life" that was made in 1934
and 1959.

The original 1934 version of "Imitation of Life" starred
Louise Beavers and Claudette Colbert.

The 1959 remake version starred Juanita Moore and Lana Turner. 

List Price: $19.98
Your Price: $16.99
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for purchase info.

"Imitation of Life" Book by Fannie Hurst


"Imitation of Life" by Fannie Hurst
The movie "Imitation of Life" was based on a book of the same name that was written by Fannie Hurst in 1933.

Although Fannie Hurst was a Caucasian woman, she was very involved in the Harlem Renaissance and for awhile lived
with African-American writer, Zora Neale Hurston.

The story itself has been controversial over the years, however, some critics view it as a subtle satire of racial
conditions in the early 1930s.

imitation of life book cover

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for purchase info.


"Imitation of Life"
Movie DVD
imitation of life dvd
List Price: $19.98
Your Price: $16.99

Get both versions of the movie "Imitation of Life" on this special two movie DVD.

Click the above button
for purchase info.



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