Approved | | Drama, Romance
A struggling widow and her daughter take in a black housekeeper and her fair-skinned daughter; the two women start a successful business, but face familial, identity, and racial issues along the way.
Eight uncredited writers contributed to the screenplay, including Preston Sturges and Finley Peter Dunne.
Bow your head! You got to learn to take it!
When Elmer first comes into the pancake shop on the boardwalk, Beatrice leans on the counter with one elbow. In the next wider shot, she's leaning on the counter with both elbows.
Reissue prints of this film, issued after Carl Laemmle's ouster and retirement from Universal, read "The New Universal Presents [Claudette Colbert and Warren William in 'Imitation of Life']" rather than "Carl Laemmle Presents [Claudette Colbert and Warren William in 'Imitation of Life']"
The original theatrical release print of Imitation of Life featured different title cards, including a title card containing a brief prologue, which read: "Atlantic City, in 1919, was not just a boardwalk, rolling-chairs and expensive hotels where bridal couples spent their honeymoons. A few blocks from the gaiety of the famous boardwalk, permanent citizens of the town lived and worked and reared families just like people in less glamorous cities." When the film was reissued by Universal in 1938, the title cards were changed, and the prologue card was removed. All current prints of the film, including those used for the VHS and DVD releases, are struck from the 1938 re-release version.