Imitation of Life (1934)

Imitation of Life (1934) Movie

Imitation of Life

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7.5/10 (1795 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company

Production Designer




Release Date
(USA) - 26 November 1934
(Turkey) - 1935
(Sweden) - 4 March 1935
(Argentina) - 10 April 1935
(Ireland) - 22 November 1935

All Release Dates

Running Time

Brought Back to thrill you again! Fannie Hurst's stirring drama of a mother and a daughter in love with the same man. (re-release) Claudette Colbert at her finest in Imitation of Life (re-release)

based-on-novel, boardwalk, businesswoman, death-by-shock, engagement, female-bonding, friendship, friendship-between-girls, friendship-between-women, funeral, generation-gap, housekeeper, ichthyologist, interracial-friendship, interracial-relationship, light-skinned-black, love-triangle, maid, marriage-proposal, master-servant-relationship, maturation, melodrama, mother-daughter-relationship, neon-sign, new-york-city


Pictures of Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life Pictures

Cast of Imitation of Life

  1. Armetta, Henry as [The Painter] <9>
  2. Austin, William (I) as (uncredited) [Englishman at Party]
  3. Brooke, Tyler as (uncredited) [Tipsy Man at Party]
  4. Davidson, William B. as (uncredited) [Man Buying Cigar]
  5. Gregg, Reverend as (uncredited) [Black Minister]
  6. Hale, Alan (I) as [Martin, the Furniture Man] <8>
  7. Huntley, G.P. (I) as (uncredited) [James]
  8. Johnston, Stuart as (uncredited) [Black Undertaker]
  9. Kolker, Henry as (uncredited) [Dr. Preston]
  10. Lee, Curry as (uncredited) [Black Chauffeur]
  11. Molnar, Julius as (uncredited) [Footman]
  12. Moorhouse, Bert as (uncredited) [Man at Funeral]
  13. Mortimer, Edmund as (uncredited) [Dance Extra at Party]
  14. Newell, David (I) as (uncredited) [Party Guest Saying Goodbye]
  15. Norton, Barry (I) as (uncredited) [Young Man Proposing Toast]
  16. Norton, Edgar as (uncredited) [Butler at Party]
  17. O'Keefe, Dennis (I) as (uncredited) [Dance Extra]
  18. Pangborn, Franklin as (uncredited) [Mr. Carven]
  19. Porcasi, Paul as (uncredited) [Jackson's Restaurant Manager]
  20. Robinson, Hayes as (uncredited) [Man at Funeral]
  21. Shimada, Teru as (uncredited) [Japanese Customer in Pancake Shop]
  22. Sparks, Ned (I) as [Elmer Smith] <4>
  23. Standing, Wyndham as [Jarvis, Beatrice's Butler] <10>
  24. Steers, Larry as (uncredited) [Party Guest]
  25. Turner, Martin (I) as (uncredited) [Man at Funeral]
  26. Walker, Walter (I) as (uncredited) [Hugh]
  27. Warren, Bruce (I) as (uncredited) [Party Guest]
  28. William, Warren as [Stephen 'Steve' Archer] <2>
  29. Wilson, Clarence (I) as (uncredited) [Mr. Bristol, Landlord]
  30. Andre, Monya as (uncredited) [Party Guest]

  31. All Cast

Genres in Imitation of Life

  1. Drama
  2. Romance

Plot of Imitation of Life

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in exchange for Full Plot >>

Business of Imitation of Life

CP: Universal Pictures Corp.; 22 November 1934; LP5115 PD: 27 June 1934 - 11 September 1934

Certificate of Imitation of Life

Atp (Argentina)
Approved (USA)(PCA #412)

Composers of music of Imitation of Life

  1. Roemheld, Heinz (uncredited)

Cinematographers of Imitation of Life

  1. Gerstad, Merritt B. (as Merritt Gerstad)

Distributors of Imitation of Life

Epoca [ar] - (????) (Argentina) (VHS)
Realart Pictures Inc. [us] - (1945) (USA) (theatrical) (re-release)
Realart Pictures Inc. [us] - (1949) (USA) (theatrical) (re-release)
Universal Home Entertainment [us] - (2004) (USA) (DVD) (widescreen)
Universal Home Entertainment [us] - (2008) (USA) (DVD) (Legacy Series)
Universal Pictures [us] - (1934) (USA) (theatrical)
Universal Studios Home Video [us] - (1998) (USA) (VHS)

Editors of Imitation of Life

  1. Cahn, Philip
  2. Wright, Maurice (I)

Misc of Imitation of Life

  1. Bolman, Emily (stand-in: Rochelle Hudson) (uncredited)
  2. Boone, Barbara (stand-in: Juanita Quigley) (uncredited)
  3. Boone, Bernice (secretary) (uncredited)
  4. Hall, Archie (technical director) (uncredited)
  5. Johnson, Alameda (stand-in: Sebie Hendricks) (uncredited)
  6. Johnson, Alma (II) (stand-in: Sebie Hendricks) (uncredited)
  7. Laemmle, Carl (presenter)
  8. McDaniel, Etta (stand-in: Louise Beavers) (uncredited)
  9. Palmatier, Cora (script clerk) (uncredited)
  10. West, Mary (II) (child welfare worker) (uncredited)

Quotes of Imitation of Life

Jessie Pullman, Age 18: After all, what's the good of algebra and all that stuff to a girl?

Delilah Johnson: What's my baby want?
Peola Johnson, Age 19: I want to be white, like I look.
Delilah Johnson: Peola!
Peola Johnson, Age 19: [gesturing to mirror] Look at me. Am I not white? Isn't that a white girl?

Baby Jessie Pullman, Age 3: I want my quack-quack!

Delilah Johnson: [to Peola] Bow your head! You got to learn to take it!

Beatrice 'Bea' Pullman: Don't you want your own house?
Delilah Johnson: No. How am I to take care of you and Miss Jessie if I aint here? Full Quotes >>

Other Titles of Imitation of Life

  1. Frauen am Scheidewege (1934) (ENG)

  2. Lo specchio della vita (1934) (ENG)

  3. Specchio della vita, Lo (1934) (ITA)

Shooting/Filming Locations of Imitation of Life

  1. Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA - (studio)

Trivia of Imitation of Life

- 'Fredi Washington' (qv) (Peola, Aged 19) was a light-skinned African-American. After playing this role, she was criticized by some in the black community who labored under the misconception that the actress herself practiced self-hatred and would rather 'pass' herself off as white. Ms. Washington was, in fact, an avid civil rights activist.

- Although cast as the daughter of 'Louise Beavers' (qv) (Delilah), 'Fredi Washington' (Peola, age 19) was in reality less than two years younger than her onscreen mother. She was, however, considerably slimmer than the matronly Beavers, which enabled the pair to "pass" as mother and daughter.

- Eight uncredited writers contributed to the screenplay, including 'Preston Sturges' (qv) and 'Finley Peter Dunne' (qv).

- 'Paul Lukas (I)' (qv) was the original choice for the male lead.

- The script didn't get Breen office approval until the film was two weeks into shooting.

- Paramount loaned 'Claudette Colbert' (qv) out to Universal for the film.

- 'Claudette Colbert' (qv) and 'Warren William' (qv) also co-starred in 'Cecil B. DeMille' (qv)'s _Cleopatra (1934)_ (qv) that same year.

- 1934 proved to be a banner year for 'Claudette Full Trivia >>