When I reviewed the 1934 version of this film, I’d been under the impression that I’d never heard of either of these films before. But, when I started watching this film, I realized that I had heard of this. As part of the filmography of Douglas Sirk, whose work I’ve seen too little of, and have been meaning to catch up on. So my viewing of the 1959 Imitation of Life served two purposes: watching another Sirk film, and seeing how it compared to an earlier film I’d already watched.
Like the 1934 Imitation of Life, this version too begins with a harried single mother and her young daughter. Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) is a widow with a six year old daughter called Susie (Terry Burnham). When the film opens, Lora is rushing about frantically on a very crowded beachfront, searching for Susie, who’s vanished.
After an eye candy post, it’s time for an eye candy film. This is the sort of film that’s truly beautiful to look at (a prime example of the genre is the Deborah Kerr-Rossano Brazzi flick Count Your Blessings, otherwise avoidable but visually unbeatable). Come September’s like that too: much about it is very soothing to the eyes.
The hero, wealthy Robert Taylor (Rock Hudson) is, for instance, gloriously good-looking: