Blu-ray Releases Details
Imitation of Life - The Criterion Collection

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This title will be released on January 10, 2023. Pre-order now.
  • Note To Viewer

    This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.

Genres: Melodrama
Starring: Claudette Colbert, Louise Beavers, Fredi Washington
Director: John M. Stahl
Plot Synopsis:

Melodrama master John M. Stahl brings his exquisite restraint and almost spiritually pure visual style to this devastating, enduringly relevant story of mothers and daughters. Imitation of Life explores the friendship between two struggling single mothers: one (Claudette Colbert) a working-class white woman who ascends to the top of the business world, the other (Louise Beavers) her Black housekeeper, whose life is shattered by the rejection of her rebellious, white-passing daughter (Fredi Washington). It is this latter relationship—attuned to America’s bitter racial realities and heartbreakingly enacted by trailblazing Black performers Beavers and Washington—that lends the film its transcendent emotional power. This first adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s best-selling novel boldly confronts the complexities and contradictions of racial identity, economic exploitation, and the limits of the American dream.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New interview with Miriam J. Petty, author of Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood, about the resonance of Louise Beavers’s and Fredi Washington’s performances
  • New interview with Imogen Sara Smith, contributor to The Call of the Heart: John M. Stahl and Hollywood Melodrama, about director John M. Stahl and his work with actor Claudette Colbert and others
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by Petty

    New cover by Katya Mezhibovskaya
  • Release Details
    Release Date: January 10th, 2023
    Movie Release Year: 1934
    Release Country: United States
    Movie Studio: Criterion
  • Technical Specs
    Length:110 Minutes
    Specs:4K digital restoration
    Video Resolution/Codec:1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.33:1
    Audio Formats:Uncompressed monaural soundtrack
    Subtitles/Captions:English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

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