Imitation of Life (1959)

A 50th anniversary screening featuring an onstage discussion with SUSAN KOHNER and JUANITA MOORE. The conversation will be conducted by Kohner’s son, filmmaker PAUL WEITZ (“American Pie,” “About a Boy,” “American Dreamz,” “The Golden Compass,” “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”).

Presenting a recently struck print from the Academy Film Archive, made from the Universal Pictures Restoration.

Hosted by film critic Stephen Farber

Douglas Sirk’s classic melodrama portrays the uneasy alliance of two single mothers, one an ambitious white actress (Lana Turner), the other her black housekeeper (Juanita Moore). As the actress’s fortunes change for the better she neglects her teenaged daughter, while the housekeeper’s light-skinned and resentful daughter (Susan Kohner) rejects her devoted mother as part of her attempt to pass in white society. Both Kohner and Moore were Oscar-nominated for their moving performances.

Cast Lana Turner (Lora Meredith), John Gavin (Steve Archer), Sandra Dee (Susie Meredith, age sixteen), Susan Kohner (Sarah Jane, age eighteen), Robert Alda (Allen Loomis), Dan O’Herlihy (David Edwards), Juanita Moore (Annie Johnson), Karen Dicker (Sarah Jane, age eight), Terry Burnham (Susie, age 6), John Vivyan (Young man), Lee Goodman (Photographer), Ann Robinson (Showgirl), Troy Donahue (Frankie), Sandra Gould (Receptionist), Mahalia Jackson (Choir soloist). Directed by Douglas Sirk. Produced by Ross Hunter. Screenplay Eleanore Griffin, Allan Scott. Based on the novel by Fannie Hurst. Cinematography Russell Metty. Film Editing Milton Carruth. Art Direction Alexander Golitzen, Richard H. Riedel. Set Decoration Russell A. Gausman, Julia Heron. Music Frank Skinner. Sound Leslie I. Carey, Joe Lapis.

Universal-International Pictures. 1959. 35mm. 125 mins. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Universal.

Event Information

Friday, August 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Directions, Parking & Theater Policies

All seating is unreserved.
Contact Info
(310) 247-3600

Academy Awards Facts

Academy Award nominee

Actress in a Supporting Role (Kohner)
Actress in a Supporting Role (Moore)

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