As she wished, Annie is given a lavish funeral in a large church, complete with a gospel choir, followed by an elaborate traditional funeral procession with brass band and horse-drawn hearse. Her initial love interest is with Steve Archer John Gavin , a budding photographer. Moore and Kohner were both nominated for Academy Awards for their powerful performances. With which character are you meant to feel sympathy through the way the film presents this scene? The novel was originally to be called Sugar House but was changed just before publication. Ashamed of her mother, Peola seeks a new life by passing for white. Should it have even been made to begin with? Eleven years later, in 1958, Lora is a highly regarded Broadway star living in a luxurious home in New York. The close-up and extreme close-up, point-of-view, and over-the-shoulder shots of Sarah Jane and Annie are constructed to show intimacy between them.
When she returns, she decides to get married with Steve; but Susie has fallen in love with Steve. How does the community respond to her death? Over the course of time, many have come to consider this as a great film about post-war America—something the public recognized before most of the critics did. She is a regular witness to the drama unfolding in her own home, always empathising with Delilah, sometimes silently watching on from the sidelines, sometimes intruding with advice for Peola. But there is also Allen Loomis Robert Alda , a sleazy theatrical agent, equally ambitious and with his own shady motivations. The film plot centers around the character, Magnolia since Edna Ferber, the author of the book the film was based on, said that the book was really about the South, Magnolia is probably named after the white flower found in the South. With the help of Aunt Delilah's Louise Beavers pancake recipe, Bea builds a business to support herself, her daughter Jessie Rochelle Hudson , Aunt Delilah, and Delilah's daughter, Peola.
Frames-within-the-frame structure many of the shots. What kind of a mother is Annie Johnson? Kohner and Moore received nominations for their performances. The film bestows on him the profession of an ichthyologist no, really , but his appearance and demeanour identify him as the kind of playboy who regularly turns up in 1930s screwball comedies. Mason Magnificent Obsession, Little Women, Stella Dallas. The sequence of quick shots and their transition amplifies the bond between a mother and daughter. What are Sarah Jane's ambitions? The film stars Claudette Colbert, Warren William and Rochelle Hudson and features Louise Beavers and Fredi Washington. Critics later commented that Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner stole the film from Turner.
After rejecting David's latest script and his marriage proposal , Lora takes a role in a dramatic play. It became a bestseller and received some positive responses in the mainstream press, although Hurst was used to having her work treated with condescension. You need to avoid the 1959 remake. Apparently homeless, she is, in fact, desperate to do so. In order to escape the invisible chains that shackle her, Peola seizes the passport provided by her white skin and, rejecting her African-American roots, sets out to pass herself off as white.
Peola returns to her Negro college and presumably embraces her African descent. Even after the film had been shooting for two weeks, Universal was still awaiting approval of the script. Written by Trivia The funeral scene hit a little too close to home for. Finally, an examination of the category of race in terms of performative reiteration is presented. Sarah Jane cannot help but to cry at the door. A few blocks from the gaiety of the famous boardwalk, permanent citizens of the town lived and worked and reared families just like people in less glamorous cities.
Not long after Susie leaves, Annie passes away. It would have been quite a challenge but, not impossible for Delilah; a poor, black woman the 30's to make a fortune as a business woman! What makes a remake particularly worthwhile, however, is when the films involved are dissimilar in certain aspects yet notably congruent in other areas: just enough to keep the basic premise or theme consistent, but varied enough to keep it up to date and original in one way or another. What other strategies would have been available to Sarah Jane than the few choices she has in the film--passing as white, or accomodating herself to racism? There is also Lasting Legacy—An Imitation of Life, a documentary exploring the shared history of the two movies and the insightful social statements they each made. Taken together, the two versions of Imitation of Life are equally worthwhile for their historical significance, their aesthetic divergences, and their narrative variations. Annie admits that she is already tired and wants to just tell Sarah Jane how much she loves her and to hold her baby one more time. While undoubtedly dated, with black stereotypes that sit uncomfortably today, that this film would even attempt to confront the racial issues that it does should be admired.
Imitation of Life: the 1934 adaptation, directed by John M. The shots in the motel room scene are carefully constructed to show the love and tension between Sarah Jane and her mother Annie. Not a beat was skipped in this movie. The light-skinned Sarah Jones Susan Kohner rejects her mother and tries to pass as white for her friends. Annie is shocked, but Lora remains unmoved. If black pride was a lesson in this film as it is in Micheaux's films about passing , her decision to sell a piece of her family history to a white woman for profit and to work for a white woman for the rest of her life also would have contradicted that message, but for a mainstream audience in the 1930s, Imitation of Life provided the right answers -- loyalty between the races especially from the black characters , selflessness, blacks accepting their place, the commodification of black culture, and hard work. The focus is on the specific features of the mammy and the mulatto characters—their history, their attributes, and their significant features, in order to understand how they work in context and to understand their significance in terms of race performativity.
In the end, this version of Imitation of Life is far more romantic than the earlier one, but not nearly as funny. While undoubtedly dated, with black stereotypes that sit uncomfortably today, that this film would even attempt to confront the racial issues that it does should be admired. Examples go back to the very dawn of cinema. The two versions of this film both based on the 1933 novel by Fannie Hurst have their own respective strengths and weaknesses, with each encapsulating perfectly their years of production and each showcasing the talents of those involved with their creation. Delilah offers to work for no more than room and board for herself and her own young daughter, Peola. The resolution is that Annie comes to term to let Sarah Jane go. Nonetheless, any initial uncertainty the viewer may feel is likely to be reinforced by the subsequent scene in which Bea tells Delilah to assume an Aunt Jemimah pose by way of modelling for her sign painter Henry Armetta , the extended medium close-up seeming to invite laughter.