Imitation of Life (1934)

  • Delilah (Louise Beavers) accidentally arrives at the Pullmans’ house because there’s a street & an avenue of the same name, and she picks the wrong one. That sounds like something I would do – except I’d be A LOT more pissed about it.
  • Have I said recently how much I adore Claudette Colbert? Because I fucking love Claudette Colbert, you guys.
  • “I had a man once, but he up and died on me.” — Bea (Colbert)

I love how stolidly & matter-of-factly she says that. You go, girl.

  • I also love it when Delilah whispers her pancake secret to Bea in the Pullmans’ kitchen. Passing pancake secrets = a true demonstration of female friendship. (Or so I’m told.)
  • Ned Sparks (who plays Elmer) is fantastic in this. When Bea offers him a job and he goes, “Well…I don’t know about that…” as it fades to black? Ha!
  • Then: “Once a pancake, always a pancake…”

Don’t really know what the hell that means, but I like it!

  • Just looked it up, and – in case y’all were wondering: Aunt Jemima pancake mix, for all intents & purposes, has been around since 1890.
  • When’s Warren William going to show up? (We’re 40 minutes in – I feel like it must be soon!)
  • YES!!! (It’s only been 5 minutes since I said that, and there’s Mr. William now, searching for the doorbell!)
  • Claudette Colbert is A VISION in that party dress. And as is usually the case – I wonder what color it was in real life. Scarlet, maybe? A deep navy blue? *Sigh.* We may never know.
  • Are they drinking out of opaque metal champagne glasses? Never heard of such a thing, and I definitely do not approve of it.

(At third glance, this may have been an optical illusion. Gracious – I hope so!)

  • Ha! The butler’s name is Jarvis. Of course it is.
  • Oh, Christ. Warren William has a classy-ass name like ‘Stephen Archer’ AND plays the piano? Ms. Bea is toast.
  • Oof. The way he says “Thank you” after Claudette Colbert kisses him.

Oof.

  • “You’ve gotta do your part, honey. What I mean is…if he makes a move in the right direction – you don’t have to slap his hand.” — Solid wisdom from Aunt Delilah.
  • This probably goes without saying, but I love the Delilah/Bea relationship. Louise Beavers & Claudette Colbert do a TREMENDOUS job establishing it.
  • Relatedly, I sure wish Louise had been nominated for an Oscar for her role. She certainly would have deserved it.
  • The scene between Peola & Delilah at the restaurant is heartbreaking & totally sob-worthy. Louise & Fredi Washington nail it, though.
  • The scene after, too. God DAMN, they nail it.
  • Oh, Jesus. Jessie (Rochelle Hudson) thinks she’s in love with Stephen. Gross.
  • (Thank the lord Stephen thinks it’s gross, too. We can all be thankful for that.)
  • Poor Delilah. Saddest of all the sadfaces.
  • Peola showing up at the funeral? Christ almighty, what a weeper this movie has turned into!
  • But did Bea pull off Delilah’s dream funeral, or what?!
  • Noooooo! Momma Bea is too upstanding! Take the top-hat wearing man who loves you & run, woman! Who gives a shit about your romantically mistaken daughter? DAMN IT, Ms. Bea!
  • The way Warren William looks at her in that scene? What a pro.
  • Hell of a movie, you guys. I wish more people’d seen it.
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