Imitation of Life

Synopsis: 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 a room for herself and her daughter Peola. Bea comes up with a plan to market Delilah's pancake recipe. The two soon become wealthy and as the years go on, their friendship deepens. Their relationships with their daughters, however, become strained. Ashamed of her mother, Peola seeks a new life by passing for white. Bea's love for her daughter is tested when she and Jessie fall for the same man.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): John M. Stahl
Production: Universal Studios
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
111 min

[Engine Whirring]

#Nobody knows #

#The trouble I've seen ##


Want my quack-quack.

[Woman] No, darling, not now.

Wait till Mother finishes

your bath. Won't be

butjust a minute now.


Want my quack-quack.


There. Upsy-daisy. There.

Want my quack-quack.

No, darling, not now.

Later. Please be good.

Mommy's so late and

she's got so much to do.

What's Mommy got to do?

Well, she has

to get you dressed,

get you breakfast,

take you down to the day nursery.

Don't wanna go

to the day nursery.

Want to stay home

with Mommy.

Ah, darling, I wish

you could, but you can't.


Because Mother has to go out and

sell lots of cans of maple syrup...

so she can buy nice things

for her baby.

Don't want to go

to the day nursery.

Marjorie pulled my hair.

She did?

She was a very bad girl

to do that.

I pulled her back harder.


I suppose if she pulled

you first, it was all right.

I pulled her first.

You did?

Then you're a naughty girl.

And you won't go to heaven.

Don't want to go to heaven.

Want my quack-quack.

# I love you

and you love me #

#And I don't wanna go

to the day nursery #


Oh, I think we're gonna have

an opera singer in the family.

Don't you?

# I love you

and you love me #

#And I don't wanna go

to the day nursery #


[Phone Ringing]

Mommy, telephone!

I hear it, darling.

[Ringing Continues]

You sit here and be good

for just a minute.



Hello. Good morning,

Mr. Auburn. Yes.



Yes. Excuse me a minute,

please, will you?

[Sizzling Continues]


Yes, Mr. Auburn.

I was sorry

not to find you in.

Since my husband's death,

I've been carrying on his business.



Yes, dear, yes.

What, Mr. Auburn?


can I come down?

Yes. No, no, dear.

Wait till I finish

dressing you.

That was just the baby.

Yes, I have a little girl.

Thank you. I'll have

the syrup delivered to you

within an hour.

Thank you so much.


[Doorbell Buzzing]


Good morning.

I come in answer to

your advertisement for a girl.


The advertisement what say,

Cook, laundress,

housemaid, colored,

not afraid of hard work,

moderate wages."

There must be some mistake.

I haven't advertised

for any girl.

Ain't this Astor Avenue?

No, this is Astor Street.

Astor Avenue is way

the other side of town.


Funny I didn't notice

that little "avenue" word.

That's just my luck.

What they got two streets

alike for, anyhow?

I don't know.

I don't know what I better do.

There's a streetcar

at the corner.

Take that, and you'll be there

in about 10 minutes.

We has to walk.


Wait here.

I'll get you carfare.

Thank you.

Something's burnin'.

Wha... Oh, dear.

Nice quack-quack.

[Baby Crying]


[Crying Continues]


Jessie! Oh, darling.

Are you hurt?

I fell down.

Oh, darling.

Oh. Oh.

Oh, darling,

look at you.

I's all wet.



I'll say you're all wet.

We're gonna eat

such a big breakfast,

aren't we?

Oh, how nice of you!

I see'd you was

in a "fummix," so

I thought I'd lend a hand.


Why, darling,

what do you mean

by saying such a thing?


Nice horsie.

[All Laughing]

I've been took for many things,

but I ain't never been took

for that before.

Thank you

for all you've done.

Here's your carfare.

I wish you

good luck.

Thank you kindly.

Come on, darling.



Come on. Run along.

You sure you wouldn't need

somebody for your own self?

I'm handy with housework.

And taking care of children

just comes natural to me.

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