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Imitation of Life

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Imitation of Life 1959 12

125 mins USA Director. Douglas Sirk

Douglas Sirk’s final Hollywood film is a masterpiece of melodrama, combining themes of class race and gender with the director’s infamous penchant for sly subversion. The second adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel after John M. Stahl’s 1934 film, it tells the story of a struggling actress (Lana Turner) and her friendship with her widowed black housemaid (Juanita Moore), whose white-skinned daughter (Susan Kohner) rejects her African-American heritage.

Delivering his final Hollywood film before returning to his native Germany, Sirk is here at his acerbic and playful peak, puncturing with glee the social mores of white-picket-fenced 1950s America.

Moore became the fifth African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award, while Kohner was also nominated in the same Best Supporting Actress category.

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Directed by

Douglas Sirk


Juanita Moore

Susan Kohner

John Gavin

Lana Turner




Black Star Oscars - Best Supporting Role Sight and Sound Greatest Films Poll Closed Captions Based on the Book…


12 Contains racial identity theme, racist references and sex references







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