Cover image for Imitation of life
Imitation of life
Hunter, Ross.
[DVD version].
Publication Information:
Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Video, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 videodisc (125 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
The story of two widows and their troubled daughters. In the search for success as an actress, Lora neglects her daughter. Lora's black housekeeper's daughter repudiates her mother by trying to pass for white. As the years pass, each of the four women realizes that she has been living an emotionally fruitless existence.
General Note:
Widescreen version

Anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1 aspect), Dolby digital 2.0 mono.

Based on the novel by Fannie Hurst.

DVD release of the 1959 motion picture by Universal.

For specific features see interactive menu.
Reading Level:
Not rated.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 4655 Adult DVD Classics
DVD 4655 Adult DVD Audio Visual
DVD 4655 Adult DVD Audio Visual

On Order



This glamorized remake of the 1934 film Imitation of Life bears only a passing resemblance to its source, the best-selling novel by Fannie Hurst. Originally, the heroine was a widowed mother who kept the wolf from the door by setting up a successful pancake business with her black housemaid. In the remake, Lana Turner stars as a would-be actress who is raising her daughter on her own. She chances to meet another single mother at the beach: African-American Juanita Moore. Moore goes to work as Turner's housekeeper, bringing her light-skinned daughter along. As Turner's stage career goes into high gear, Moore is saddled with the responsibility of raising both Turner's daughter and her own. Exposed to the advantages of the white world, Moore's grown-up daughter (Susan Kohner) passes for white, causing her mother a great deal of heartache. Meanwhile, Turner's grown daughter (Sandra Dee), neglected by her mother, seeks comfort in the arms of handsome photographer John Gavin. When Moore dies, her daughter realizes how selfish she's been; simultaneously, Turner awakens to the fact that she hasn't been much of a mother for her own daughter, whose romance has gone down the tubes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Fischer has assembled an important omnibus of source material and critical appraisals of Douglas Sirk's 1959 blockbuster Imitation of Life , which starred Lana Turner. He brings together selections from Fannie Hurst's 1932 novel (upon which the film was based); biographical information on Turner, Sirk, and Hurst; interviews with Sirk; reviews, critical writings, and commentaries; and Sirk's continuity script. It is a well-rounded study of the entire world of the film and its continuing reflection and impact upon American culture. The gravity of the themes raised by the film and its popular and critical receptions (such as women and work, race relations, star mythology, and parenting) are reflected in the scope and depth of the sources assembled. This important contribution to literature on film and its multifaceted life in the American psyche is a must for film collections.-- Robert Rayher, Sch. of the Art Inst. of Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.