Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Imitation Of Life”

July 21, 2014 ‐ By
Source: Universal

Source: Universal

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. 

More from Mommynoire

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Pingback: Mixed Race Studies » Scholarly Perspectives on Mixed-Race » Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Imitation Of Life”()

  • Dora Glasberg

    Weird. iwas thing about Koehner this morning.
    She was married to designer John Weitz.
    They just kind of disappeared

  • DeeDee Denise

    The 1959 version is fabulous and Lana wore some marvelous outfits. And yes, the movie is a tearjerker. I remember while traveling, I watched the movie in a language I didn’t understand and I still boohooed…LOL

  • HopeReedaga

    buddy’s step-mother makes $66 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired
    for nine months but last month her check was $16795 just working on the
    laptop for a few hours. check my source

    try this site

  • Guest

    Peola Johnson I salute you…..its obvious she could have taken a much different pathway so to stand strong behind your convictions even though they are keeping your from advancing makes her a phenomenal black woman

  • Cardio and Weights

    What a great write up MadameNoire! Thank you for this, great article on one of the best movies ever made, so heart heavy and classic. No matter what the critics said, the work in the film spoke for itself and it is a classic.



  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    Did they honor Juanita Moore in the dedication to the deceased actors?

    • GoodGooglyMoogly

      If you mean during The Academy Awards yes.

      • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

        Yes I did, & thank you :)


    Fredi Washington was a ‘G’! loves it! :)

  • Esined

    I have both versions of this movie – prefer the remake. The movie ‘Pinky’ is another movie that deals with this same subject.

  • B Cooper

    I am curious to know who the other black actresses are/were to try out for the 1959 version of “Sara Jane”.

  • JerzeeShortee

    In the ’59 version, Mahalia Jackson…one of the best Gospel singers of all time. Her voice was amazing!!!

    • GraceRRuiz

      Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the>>CLICK NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP

  • honeybee808

    I LOVE this movie. Simply a masterpiece. The final scene is one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever seen on a film.

  • Nikol

    Such a great film, my mother had me & my sister watch it with her when we were both in middle school. We both loved it then & always have. It was one of our mother’s favorites & quickly became ours too. We watched the latter version & later I stumbled across the original & watched that too but the remake is my fave. My mother is biracial and the product of a Italian mother whose family completely disowned her because she married my grandfather. We were too young to understand all that but it didn’t stop our questions, so I think she wanted us to see this film as a way to understand somehow.. and it certainly helped us gain an understanding of what it was like back then. It opened the door…

  • Tracey

    This movie is a timeless classic, it is one of my favorite movies of all time.

  • StraightShooter

    I prefer the original. I don’t really care for the remake.

  • LucySkyDiamond

    this movie makes me cry like a baby!

    • LaCeda Williamson

      Me too. Every time I watch it, I weep like it’s people I know and love that are involved. I get so tore up I can barely breathe.

  • hollyw

    Daaaaag! I almost never go through the “10 Secrets You Didn’t Know About [fill in the blank]”, but this ish was scandalous lol… movie still gives me goosebumps.

  • 757

    I really enjoyed reading all these facts on one of my favorite films.thank you!

    • *Teacup*

      ditto, just a wonderful cast and a wonderful movie, i hope they reconnected in heaven :-)

  • Yasss

    Top 5 best movies ever.

    • Suuzie

      One of my favorite movies too…can’t tell you how many times I have watched it and still cry like a baby every time when her daughter is running after the horse drawn hearse and crying, I am crying right along with her.

  • MLS2698

    Best movie ever! I have a DVD with two versions on it.

    • hollyw

      I got that release, too!!

    • *Teacup*

      me 2, but the ’59 version is the best by far

    • Pash-in

      Still my all time fav movie!!!! Still makes me cry everytime at the end!!!! It was beyond it’s time!

      • MLS2698

        ” I didn’t mean it mama, I didn’t meannn ittttt!.”

        • Pash-in

          Lol, love it!!!