Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Juanita Moore, Susan Kohner
Lora Meredith is an aspiring actress looking for her daughter, Susie, on the beach. Finding her daughter playing with another little girl, she meets Annie Johnson, a homeless black woman with a daughter of her own, Sarah Jane. Lora offers her a job as a maid and a place for her and her daughter to live. The two girls got along great, but Sarah Jane was not happy being black. Sarah Jane's father was very light skinned, so Sarah Jane passed in school and in town as a little white girl. She was embarrassed by her own mother's skin color. As the years pass by, Lora becomes a famous popular stage actress. Her and her daughter's relationship thrives. Annie is nothing but hurt by the way her own daughter treats her.
This movie is about race. This deals with a sensitive subject on how a mother handles her daughter's reject. There are several scenes were Sarah Jane displays how embarrassed she is by her mother and her own race. This movie was made in the late 50's. Race was on many people's mind, mainly in the South. Sarah Jane does not want to be black. She sees how the world treats black people. She does not want to date a servant, butler or cook. She says something to that order.
The other part of the movie deals with both of the girls growing up and looking for mates of their own. Susie has a crush on the man that is dating her mother. She is young and has been spending a lot of time with this man while her mother was away working, but it is still way too weird to fall for your mother's boyfriend.
This is not the happiest movie that you will watch, but it is so good. It took me forever to finally watch it. I'm so glad that I did. If you have not had the chance to see it, then treat yourself to a good simple drama. Enjoy.
Imitation of Life (1959) Trailer