Imitation of Life
Imitation of Life (1959)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: April 30, 1959
DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
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Critic Score: 84% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Sirk unleashed a melodramatic torrent of rage at the corrupt core of American life-the unholy trinity of racism, commercialism, and puritanism.

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Variety Staff

While this device lends more scope, it also results in the overdone busy actress/neglected daughter conflict.

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TV Guide

You'll be horrified at how this hokum manipulates you, but the best strategy is to just surrender and enjoy it.

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Charles Taylor
Village Voice

The toughest-minded, most irresolvable movie ever made about race in this country.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

This modernized remake of Miss Hurst's frankly lachrymose tale is much the same as its soggy predecessor. It is the most shameless tear-jerker in a couple of years.

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Ian Freer
Empire Magazine

A consummate display of populist weepie-making.

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TIME Magazine

Imitation of Life is still a potent onion. When passed before the moviegoer's eyes, it may force theater owners to install aisle scuppers to drain off the tears.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Forget those who decry the '50s Hollywood melodrama; it is through the conventions of that hyper-emotional genre that Sirk is able to make such a devastatingly embittered and pessimistic movie.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO] Set in postwar New York, "Imitation of Life" is a wonderfully deceptive film.

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More reviews for Imitation of Life

Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
A lavish, touching melodrama that remains always focused and held together even when trying to flesh out the personal conflicts of so many characters - which it… More
Jeremy Smith
A soul chilling look at life and love, this film is devestating, extreemly moving and ultimately a soul crushing tragedy.
Pierluigi Puccini
A sweet and sour pie of the morality and values of it's time. Tasty, colorful in the outside, with so much hipocrisy, prejudices lurking inside. Its deep… More
Mark Hobin
Given her personal life, Lana Turner would seem ideally suited for a movie detailing the problematic relationship between a single mother and her teenage… More
Randy Tippy
<i>Imitation of Life</i> is sentimental without being sappy. It's also boldly allegorical without being preachy. I'm tempted to say that… More
Bob O'Reilly
Douglas Sirk's classic weepy about our innate tendency to inadvertantly drive away the ones we love the most. Lana Turner and Juanita Moore give… More