Movie Review: 'Imitation of Life'

by The Shadow

10 February 2005

This Hollywood film starred Lana Turner and John Gavin. Gavin played only a supporting role, but, unlike today's actors, at least he didn't look like he had just crawled out from under a pile of garbage.

The real star was Lana's colored maid. You see, Lana was an unmarried stage/screen actress with a daughter of about 17 (not unlike the real-life Lana whose daughter, Sheryl Crane, stabbed mommy's boyfriend, Johnny Stompanator, and got away with it). The unmarried maid also had a daughter, a girl of about 20 who passed herself off as White (which we at VNN know she surely was -- 100%).

Lana's girl was obsessed with race. At one point she asked what race Jesus was. The maid's daughter said, "He was White -- like me." [Is this beginning to sound familiar, VNNers, back in 1959, already already?]

Lana gives up an opportunity to star in a big movie in order to do a 'controversial' play about Blacks and Whites. At the obligatory opening night party, you see a Black woman standing discreetly in the background, in case you weren't keeping up with the plot.

Near the end of the film, the Black maid -- rejected by her 'mulatto' daughter -- dies. But before she does, she gives several deathbed soliloquies, one of which is a request for a top-of-the-line funeral, which Lana gives her, of course.

During the service, we have to hear the entire rendition of a Negro spiritual, with the singularly unattractive face of the singer taking up most of the screen for about two minutes. Then, as the psalm-chanting pallbearers pass right in front of the camera, the word "Israel" just happens to land at that point in the psalm.

The subtlest trick of them all was that the producers made it look like they were keeping darkies in their place. The maid always addressed Turner and Gavin as Miss Laura and Mr. Steve. And as she lay dying, she left her gen-u-ine mink stole to the Black minister's wife.

Before I found VNN, I thought I was pretty sophisticated when it came to Jews. But now, every trick they ever use (or used) in a movie jumps right out at me. Oh, to be innocent again.

Perhaps more galling than the Jews' tricks is that the movie was fairly enjoyable. Overall, a success in their ceaseless march toward world domination.


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