Rick's Real/Reel Life just posted a long, loving look back at the classic 1959 melodrama Imitation of Life starring Lana Turner (1921-1995), Juanita Moore (1914-2014), Susan Kohner (b. 1936), Sandra Dee (1942-2005) and John Gavin (b. 1931).
From Rick's write-up:
For me, the first half of Imitation of Life is best. When the two women bond as they struggle to keep body and soul together, these are the film’s warmest moments. When Lora gamely does the flea powder commercial with the slobbering dog, it shows Lana at her most playful. The scenes with their young girls give Lana a chance to be vulnerable, and Juanita to be warmly appealing. Some have said that changing the dynamic between the two women’s characters, with the pancake business cut from the original, leaves their relationship lopsided. Why would Annie stay with Lora for so long? Why would Lora treat her any different than a maid? My thought is that Lora took them off the street when she saw Annie’s dire situation, and was grateful by how giving Annie was. The two bonded and created a home for their girls. Yes, it’s corny and dated, by today’s standards. Their relationship is like a ‘50s marriage: Lora brings home the bacon, and Annie’s keeps the home fires burning.
Don't miss his take, here — it's the kind of thoughtful writing most blogs don't have time for.