Search Museum of the Moving Image


Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life


Dir. Douglas Sirk. 1959, 125 mins. 35mm. With Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner, Roberta Alda, Dan O’Herlihy, Juanita Moore, Troy Donahue. This is the most thematically ambitious and emotionally powerful movie from Douglas Sirk, crafter of impeccable Hollywood weepies that contain searing social commentary. On the surface, Imitation of Life seems to be a sudser about the romantic and professional travails of a struggling actress. But as her woes are paralleled with the heartbreaking story of her black maid’s struggles with an ashamed daughter, it is revealed as a stealth portrait of racism in America.

Free with Museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum members may reserve tickets in advance by calling 718 777 6800. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.