By the time that Jessie played as an 18-year-old by Rochelle Hudson returns home from boarding school in Switzerland, Bea and Stephen are talking marriage. These are also the trademarks of soap-opera television but to dismiss many of these original melodramas as mere soap-operas would miss the carefully concealed symbolism, irony and social critique that Sirk carefully placed within his films. Hurlbut Based on Imitation of Life 1933 novel by Fannie Hurst Starring: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Louise Beavers Music by Heinz Roemheld Cinematography Merritt B. While we do seem to hear more about this recently, the concept of a remark is, of course, nothing new. I makes you a present of it. Directing Imitation of Life was John Stahl, whose largely unassuming style here is crisp and clear and is essentially at the service of trying to contain Claudette Colbert, who is extraordinary. Annie is bedridden upon her return to New York, and Lora and Susie look after her.
The story then follows as the business becomes successful, Bea falls in love with Steve and the daughters begin to grow up and begin to develop their own lives. 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. Running time 111 minutes Country United States Language English Imitation of Life is a 1934 American directed by. The colours boldly indicate the emotional state of the characters, the music is suitably sweeping to clearly indicate the emotional response required from the audience and the themes of love, death, social standing, loose morals and heartbreak are all standards of the genre. We will be giving the film a feminist and womanist reading, focusing on the ways in which the film advocates particular roles for women and for women of color, and discussing as well women's strategies of resistance that provide alternatives to the prescriptions offered in Imitation of Life. Send email to Last modified: Friday 21 August 1998. 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.
Douglas, the author of Magnificent Obsession, was regarded in literary circles. Bea, dressed in the height of fashion, floats up the stairs to her rooms, whose luxury was built from the success of Delilah's recipe. Or has the progress just been an imitation? Web Resources: Check out 's pages for the three versions of this story: and , both made in Hollywood, and , made in Mexico. Jessie and Peola Dorothy Black have proven to be challenging children to raise: Jessie is demanding, not particularly studious, relying instead on her charm. . The pancake business storyline is not in the 1959 remake of Imitation of Life.
They point to her personal history — a mammy who speaks in a Southern dialect — while what happens to and around her also makes her a tragic figure rather than the Southern mammy of cliché. My inclination is towards the latter, largely because, throughout the film, attention appears to be drawn to her generally supportive but often thoughtless treatment of Delilah. But, newly released on by Universal, along with , directed in 1934 by , the movie is far more than an evocative turn of phrase. It is not an easy decision and will undoubtedly torment her for the rest of her life. Sarah Jane, able to pass for white, yearns to leave behind the limitations she feels have plagued her mother in a racist society and to be treated with respect like that afforded Lora.
The difference is that Julie, a ghost-like character throughout the rest of the film, is constantly working in the shadows to protect Magnolia. Tom Ryan is based in Melbourne, Australia, and has been writing for newspapers and specialist film magazines for more than 30 years. It became a bestseller and received some positive responses in the mainstream press, although Hurst was used to having her work treated with condescension. The inner conflict related to outward appearance is the dilemma of identity. Peola's relationship with Delilah is strained from the beginning of the film when she is caught passing for white in school. She finally tells her mother that she is going away, never to return, so she can pass as a white woman without the fear that Delilah will show up.
Some scenes seem to mock Delilah, because of her supposed ignorance about her financial interests and her willingness to be in a support role, but the two women have built an independent business together. The lost child situation of the opening sequence has become a motif applying to all of them. Can you imagine a time where people were so racist? It turns out Delilah make great pancakes, and since Beatrice has the syrup, the two go into business together. The screenplay by William Hurlbut, based on 's 1933 , was augmented by eight additional uncredited writers, including and. Lora is well-succeeded in her career and reaches stardom. Once Delilah tells the teacher that her daughter has been passing, Peola runs out of the school. The white protagonist, Bea Pullman , is a not-quite-self-made businesswoman; the most complex and sympathetic character, Peola Johnson , is a casualty of American racism, both institutionalized and internalized.
It tells the story of two widowed mothers, one white and one black, raising their daughters amidst a climate of capitalism and racism. Critics later commented that Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner stole the film from Turner. By this time, the power of the Production Code had been considerably reduced, Breen had retired and been replaced by the more liberal Geoffrey Shurlock, and the miscegenation matter that had plagued Stahl in the early 1930s was no longer perceived as an issue. Bea breaks her engagement with Stephen, not wanting to hurt her daughter's feelings by being with him, but promises to find him after Jessie is over her infatuation with him. But there is, in general, a less demeaning presentation of Annie, though there is still no denying the troublesome notion of such blind obedience.
Lora Meredith and her daughter Susie have struggled along after the death of Lora's husband, but are having a very rough time of it. I also think it was a brave move for the 30's. Though certainly present in the sequences that focus on Sarah Jane, the social commentary here is rather less pronounced, for two possible reasons. Susie is found and looked after by Annie Johnson , a black single mother who also has a daughter, Sarah Jane portrayed as a child by Karin Dicker , who is about Susie's age. Delilah's last wish had been for a large, grand funeral, complete with a marching band and a horse-drawn hearse.