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DVD

2 of 2 Copies Available

  • CENTRAL: Audiovisual Collection (2 copies)
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Imitation of life

Call Number

  • DVD DRAMA (CEN)

Edition

DVD special edition.

Languages

English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Performers

Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks, Louise Beavers, Baby Jane, Alan Hale, Henry Armetta.

Publication Information

[Irvington, NY] : Criterion Collection, [2023]

Physical Description

1 videodisc (110 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 folded sheet (illustrations ; 19 cm.)

Audience

"Melodrama master John M. Stahl brings his exquisite restraint and almost spiritually pure visual style to this devastating, enduringly relevant story of mothers and daughters. Imitation of Life explores the friendship between two struggling single mothers: one a working-class white woman who ascends to the top of the business world, the other her Black housekeeper, whose life is shattered by the rejection of her rebellious, white-passing daughter. It is this latter relationship--attuned to America's bitter racial realities and heartbreakingly enacted by trailblazing Black performers Beavers and Washington--that lends the film its transcendent emotional power. This first adaptation of Fannie Hurst's best-selling novel boldly confronts the complexities and contradictions of racial identity, economic exploitation, and the limits of the American dream."--Container.

Notes

From the novel by Fannie Hurst.

Originally released as a motion picture in 1934

Special features: 4K digital restoration ; new introduction to the film by Imogen Sara Smith, contributor to The Call of the Heart: John M. Stahl and Hollywood Melodrama ; new interview with Miriam J. Petty, author of Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood, about the resonance of Louise Beavers's and Fredi Washington's performances ; trailer cut for segregated Black theaters at the time of the film's release.

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