Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A four hanky film

I watched Imitation of Love on Sunday night. It's a "women's picture" from the 50s . In short, the plot centres around two women, one white, one black and their respective daughters. Lana Turner plays the white woman, who is befriended by Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore) during a trip to Coney Island. Annie has no place to stay so ends up becoming Lana's live-in maid. The years pass, Lana becomes a famous actress and hits the big time. Meanwhile, her daughter has fallen in love with Lana's on-off beau (John Gavin), and Annie's daughter (whose father was white) is ashamed of her mother because of her skin colour and ends up as a gaudy vaudeville dancer. It kind of transcends the camp and soap by dealing with issues of racism, although by the end I was bawling like a 5 year old girl who'd had her doll's head pulled off.

The best thing about the picture though was John Gavin. Impressively wooden throughout, his job was to stand there and look pretty. And what more can you ask? He did a splendid job. John never really made the big-time although he appeared in a number of well-known films including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Psycho and Sparatcus. All the suave film stars that I like tend to be either dead now, or ancient. I was born into the wrong age.


matty said...

You know, I'm in love with John Gavin. I really am. I guess there is an age difference and a whole time continuim issue as well -- but, man, he was a handsome man! ...and, a talented actor to boot!

Props to Mr. Sirk!

Tom SF said...

Thanks for the link on the left side of yah blog :) I just spotted it.

KAZ said...

Oh my God I think i remember this one. I think Sandra Dee played the daughter. She was our version of 'Chantelle'. I remember her line 'Can I borrow your coat 'cos ... has seen all mine!.
I loved it.