My Cult Movie: “I seem to pick sad movies…”

*contains spoilers

Name: Myrna
Age: 79
Occupation: Retired Day Care Provider
Favourite Movie: Imitation of Life (1959)
First Saw It: As a teenager at the Savoy Cinema in Colombo, Sri Lanka with a friend after work one Saturday
Starring: Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner

Plot: Director Douglas Sirk directs Fanny Hurst’s story of a driven actress and the good-hearted black woman who shares her life who has an ungrateful and troubled daughter who is passing for white

Myrna Says: I have seen this movie four or five times. It always makes me very sad and makes me cry that she didn’t want to acknowledge her mother because she was black and the daughter could pass for white. She used to say her mother was the maid and the ending after her mother died, she realised what she did was wrong.

Imitation of Life poster

I can still picture the scene at the funeral where she screams and cries… She was sorry but it was too late… and Mahalia Jackson is singing Trouble in this World. I cried and I always do when I see that movie.

Juanita Moore as the mother was excellent and the girl as the daughter was good too… The fact she wasn’t grateful and she was so haughty too, ignoring her mother. She wanted what the white girl had.

It was a choice between this movie and Madame X (1966)… I seem to pick sad movies as sad movies seem very real… it does happen in the world. But I always cry at movies. I’d heard Mahalia Jackson on the radio in Sri Lanka, she is one of the best gospel singers, she’s got such a beautiful voice… Everyone was talking about this Imitation of Life, so I read the synopsis and I thought I will go and see it.

Imitation of Life (1959) trailer

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