Listen Live
St. Jude Radiothon 2024


Everybody knows Imitation of Life. It’s the movie plenty of Black families reference when they speak about the original tearjerkers. When you think about it, it’s amazing that a movie that handled subjects such as race and class in such a real way was released during the beginning of the Civil Rights era. And surprisingly the version most of us know and love, the one with Mahalia Jackson, is a remake of a remake. Check out some of the little known facts behind the making of this classic film.

1934 VS 1959 VERSIONS

The 1959 version of Imitation of Life that we all know and love is actually a remake of the 1934 classic, based on the 1933 book by Fannie Hurst. There were several differences between the 1934 version and the 1959. In the original book, Lora–played by Lana Turner–only became famous because Delilah (Annie in the ’59 version)–played by Juanita Moore– gave her a waffle recipe. In the first movie adaptation Lora offers Delilah, her maid, 20 percent of the profits from the waffle recipe, but she refuses the money and decides to stay on as her maid.

In an interview with Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Juanita Moore said that Blacks did not like the first movie because Delilah’s character was so subservient. In fact, she said producer Ross Hunter, wouldn’t even let Juanita see it. Good decision.

CLICK HERE to read story


Leave a Reply