Imitation of Life (1934)

Imitation of Life




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This film version of Fannie Hurst's novel 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..

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Fannie Hurst, William Hurlbut
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 5, 2008
Universal Studios


as Beatrice 'Bea' Pullm...

as Delilah Johnson

as Peola Johnson (Age 1...

as Stephen 'Steve' Arch...

as Elmer

as Jessie Pullman (age ...

as Jessie (age 8)

as Jessie (age 18)

as Peola Johnson (age 4...

as Peola (age 9)

as Martin, Furniture Ma...

as Painter

as Dr. Preston

as French Maid

as Restaurant Manager

as Man at Party

as Mrs. Eden

as Jessie Pullman at 3

as Man at Party

as Mr. Carven

as Tipsy Man

as Englishman

as Mrs. Carven

as Black Maid

as Mrs. Dale

as Young Man

as Chauffeur

as Undertaker

as Bits at Funeral

as Person at Funeral

as Dance Extra

as Englishman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Imitation of Life

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Critic Reviews for Imitation of Life

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | January 24, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 28, 2006
New York Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 11, 2006
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.

Full Review… | August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

June 19, 2005

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.

Aj V

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.

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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Imitation of Life Quotes

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