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Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life (1934)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 4,450

My Rating

Movie Info

The first of two film version of Fannie Hurst's novel, 1934's Imitation of Life chronicles the friendship between two women--one white (Claudette Colbert), one black (Louise Beavers). Colbert is a widow with a baby daughter who hires Beavers, who also has a daughter, as a housekeeper. Colbert is a working girl who yearns to operate her own business, which she does thanks to Beavers' special pancake recipe. A family friend (Ned Sparks) suggests that the ladies form a corporation to merchandise

Unrated,

Drama, Romance, Classics

Fannie Hurst, William Hurlbut

Feb 5, 2008

Universal Studios

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (0)

Made at the height of the Depression, John Stahl's Oscar-nominated melodrama prided itself for its liberal views, but even then the racial angle and Louise Beavers' acting were controversial.

January 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though it doesn't fully explore the racial issues it raises as fully as it could have, for its time it was daring and courageous.

May 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Unashamedly a soap opera, but it's not only an excellent example of that too easily dismissed form -- it's a soap opera with an agenda.

August 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Imitation of Life

I normally hate remakes, but Sirk's remake of this movie presents a richer, well rounded, and more realistic story than this movie does. Although I do applaud the film makers for choosing this story, they disappoint the audience by not going into depth with the characters.
September 14, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

This is more of a social conflict drama with the mother-daughter conflict woven in, a fine film but the Lana Turner version is more emotionally involving.
December 23, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

I did not see the Douglas Sirk version that was produced 20 years later but I found this depiction of two girls, one white and one black, who were raised together by circumstance is ever so good.
October 24, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • Imitation of Life (1934) (DE)
  • Imitation of Life (1934) (UK)
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