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Imitation of Life 1959 DVD 1 of 1
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Product Details:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40174954
UPC: 025192261121
UPC 14: 00025192261121
Sales Rank: 1593
Rating: NR
See more in Family & Kids
An actress's tie to her daughter parallels her housekeeper's tie to hers.

"Intelligent and compelling.  Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Sirk immediately and deliberately acknowledges the film's metaphoric, almost pathological obsession with surfaces.  Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Editor's Note
In Douglas Sirk's emotionally and visually extravagant final film IMITATION OF LIFE, a life's work of subverted melodrama and razor-sharp social commentary are brought to a resounding and baroque climax. In a role that closely resembles and perhaps parodies her own life, Lana Turner plays Lora Meredith, an aspiring actress and single mother who meets Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore), a black and similarly single and struggling mother. When they move in together, Annie assumes the role of domestic servant and the two women struggle together to raise their two daughters. Annie's daughter, Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner), favors her father whose skin tone resembles her own extremely light skin, and she slowly comes to resent her mother's black identity. Transcending the feminist labeling that IMITATION OF LIFE risked, the film freely mixes Meredith's rags to riches (with a hefty moral price tag) tale with Annie's scarring struggles to teach her daughter to accept her identity. As Meredith climbs higher and higher in her glamorous rise to stage and screen stardom, she ignores her vulnerable daughter Susie (Sandra Dee) and creates a devastating contrast for the racial and social tragedy that transpires in her own household. With a deft mixture of icy detachment and morose sentimentality rendered through a transcendent art direction, Sirk leads the film onto an inimitable crescendo of highly adorned emotion and tragedy.
Video Features DVD, Dolby, Digital Audio, English, Spanish, French
Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Universal
Video Release Date Release Date: 4/25/2010
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 22611
Video UPC UPC: 00025192261121
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: Spanish
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French, Spanish

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Cast & Crew
Video Cast Info John Gavin
Video Cast Info Juanita Moore
Video Cast Info Lana Turner
Video Cast Info Robert Alda
Video Cast Info Sandra Dee
Video Cast Info Susan Kohner
Video Cast Info Fannie Hurst - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Russell Metty - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Douglas Sirk - Director
Video Cast Info Ross Hunter - Producer
Video Cast Info Allan Scott - Writer
Video Cast Info Eleanore Griffin - Writer
Video Cast Info Alexander Golitzen - Art Director
Video Cast Info Allan Scott - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Eleanore Griffin - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Frank Skinner - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Henry Mancini - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Milton Carruth - Editor
Video Cast Info Richard H. Riedel - Art Director


Oscar (1960)
   Video Award Name Susan Kohner, Nominee, Best Actress in a Supporting Role
   Video Award Name Juanita Moore, Nominee, Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Golden Globe (1960)
Video Award Name Susan Kohner, Winner, Best Supporting Actress
   Video Award Name Juanita Moore, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress

Winner (1960)
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Susan Kohner, Best Supporting Actress

Nominee (1960)
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Juanita Moore, Best Supporting Actress
   Video Award Name Oscar, Susan Kohner, Best Actress in a Supporting Role
   Video Award Name Oscar, Juanita Moore, Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"...A prime example of a brilliant director's stealthy use of a denigrated genre to slip in subtle social comment and genuine pathos..." 01/24/2003 p.80

USA Today
"[P]assionately directed..." 02/10/2004 p.6D

New York Times
"[A] Lana Turner soap opera turned into an exercise in metaphysical formalism by Sirk's finely textured and densely layered images." 02/05/2008

DVD Times 8 of 10
Imitation of Life is Douglas Sirk's final feature film and one of his most lauded by critics and fans...A fabulously entertaining movie, Imitation of Life barely pauses for breath once it gets going. With a bold, splashy storyline that only the most feeble and talentless director could render dull, it's a soap opera in the very best Hollywood tradition. The themes of searching for fame and attempting to hide one's true background (I don't think the Sarah Jane story element deals purely with racism -- it could be just as much about homosexuality, class, religion or what have you) still resonate today and the film packs a surprisingly emotional punch...Everyone involved gives fine performances; Lara Turner provides exactly the kind of strong-willed independence that the role of Lora requires and Juanita Moore as Annie and Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane were both deservedly nominated for supporting actress Oscars -- odd, seeing as they're essentially the heart and soul of the film...However, this is by no means a perfect film. Much of its problem lies in the fact that it feels like a three-hour movie cut down to two...However, when all's said and done, this is a wonderful piece of cinema and a fittingly glorious final film for a great director. I can't, with a clear conscience, describe it as a masterpiece, but by no means is it far from the mark either. - Jon Robertson

Product Attributes
Product attributeActor:   Turner,Lana
Product attributeLabel:   Mca Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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