Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Film,Imitation of Life 1959 Lana Turner Full Film

Imitation of Life is a 1959 American film directed by Douglas Sirk, produced by Ross Hunter and released by Universal Pictures, starring Lana Turner and John Gavin and features Sandra Dee, Dan O'Herlihy, Susan Kohner, Robert Alda and Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson. Gospel music star Mahalia Jackson appears as a church choir soloist. The film is an adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel of the same name. It is the second film adaptation of the novel. The first film was released in 1934.

Plot

In 1947, Lora Meredith (Lana Turner), a struggling white widow with plans to become a famous Broadway actress, loses track of her young daughter Suzie at the beach (portrayed as a child by Terry Burnham), and requests the help of a stranger named Steve Archer (John Gavin) to help her find the girl. Suzie is found and looked after by Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore), a black widow with a daughter, Sarah Jane (portrayed as a child by Karin Dicker), who is about Suzie's age and, unlike her mother, is very light-skinned to the point of appearing to be white. In return for her kindness, Lora takes Annie in temporarily. Despite the fact that Lora cannot afford a nanny, Annie persuades Lora to let her stay and take care of Suzie, so that Lora can pursue an acting career.
With struggles along the way, Meredith becomes a successful star of stage comedies, with Alan Loomis (Robert Alda) as her agent and David Edwards (Dan O'Herlihy) as her chief playwright. Although Lora had begun a romantic relationship with Steve Archer, the stranger she met at the beach, their courtship falls apart because of Lora's ambition to be a star. Lora's tight focus on her career also prevents her from spending time with her daughter, who sees more of Annie than she does her own mother. Annie and Sarah Jane have their own struggles, as the light-skinned Sarah Jane is in a constant state of turmoil over her identity and steadfastly wants to pass for white. Sarah Jane's anger at being black translates into animosity towards her long-suffering mother.
The film progresses eleven years later to 1958, finding Lora as a highly regarded Broadway star living in a luxurious home in New York. Annie continues to live with her, serving all at once as nanny, housekeeper, confidant and best friend. After rejecting David's latest script (and his marriage proposal), Lora takes a role in a dramatic play. At the show's after-party, she meets Steve, whom she hasn't seen in one decade. The two slowly begin rekindling their relationship, and Steve is reintroduced to Annie and the now-teenaged Suzie (Sandra Dee) and Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner). When Lora is signed to star in an Italian motion picture, she leaves Steve to watch after Suzie, and the teenager develops an unrequited crush on her mother's boyfriend.
Adolescence has not stopped Sarah Jane from attempting to pass for white: she begins dating a white boy (Troy Donohue), who severely beats her after learning that she has black blood. Some time later, Sarah Jane passes for white in order to get a job performing at a seedy nightclub, and lies to Annie and tells her she is working at the library. When Annie learns the truth and appears to claim her daughter, Sarah Jane is fired, and Sarah Jane's subsequent dismissal of her mother's care begins taking a physical and mental toll on Annie. Lora returns from her trip to Italy to find that Sarah Jane has run away from home, and has Steve hire a detective to find her. The detective locates Sarah Jane in California, living as a white woman under an assumed name and working as a chorus girl. Annie, becoming weaker and more depressed by the day, flies out to California to see her daughter one last time and say goodbye.
Annie is bedridden upon her return to New York, and Lora and Suzie both look after her. The issue of Suzie's crush on Steve becomes a serious issue when Suzie learns that Steve and Lora are to be married, and Lora learns from Annie of Suzie's crush on her fiancé. After a confrontation with her mother, Suzie decides to go away to school in Denver, Colorado to forget about Steve. Not long after Suzie leaves, however, the now gravely ill Annie passes away, presumably "of a broken heart".
Per her last wishes, Annie is given a lavish funeral in a large church, complete with a gospel choir (and a solo by gospel star Mahalia Jackson) and a parade-like procession with a horse-drawn hearse. Just before the procession begins, however, a remorseful Sarah Jane tears through the crowd of mourners and throws herself upon her mother's casket, begging forgiveness. Lora takes Sarah Jane to their limousine to join her, Suzie, and Steve as the procession slowly travels through the city.

Cast

History and production

The plot of the 1959 version of Imitation of Life was significantly altered from the original book and the 1934 film version. In the original story, the "Lora" character, Bea Pullman, became famous with the help of her maid Delilah's family waffle recipe (the 1934 film version features a family pancake recipe instead of a waffle recipe). As a result, Bea, the white businesswoman, becomes rich. Delilah is offered 20% of the profits, but declines and chooses to remain Bea's dutiful servant. Director Douglas Sirk and screenwriters Eleanore Griffin and Allan Scott felt that such a story would not be accepted in the wake of civil rights milestones such as the Brown v. Board of Education case and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and also felt that, by the 1950s, a black woman with a potentially successful food enterprise could make it on her own. As a result, the story was altered so that Lora becomes a Broadway star with her own talents, with Annie assisting her by serving as a nanny for Lora's child. In addition, producer Ross Hunter was cannily aware that these plot changes would enable Lana Turner to model an array of glamorous costumes and real jewels, something that would appeal to the female audience at that time.
Fredi Washington, the actress who plays the African-American daughter Peola in the 1934 film, was an actual light-skinned African American, who was noted for turning down a number of offers by Hollywood agents to pass for white and become a star.Although many African Americans were screen-tested for the corresponding Sarah Jane role in the 1959 remake, Susan Kohner, of Mexican and Czech Jewish descent, won the role. Karin Dicker, of Jewish descent, made her film debut as the young Sarah Jane in this film. Gospel singing star Mahalia Jackson received "presenting" billing for her one scene in the film, performing a soaring version of "Trouble of the World" at Annie's funeral service.
Lana Turner's wardrobe for Imitation of Life cost over $1.078 million, making it one of the most expensive in cinema history at that time.













Photo Portret Karen Black



















Julie Newmar







































Julie Newmar (born Julia Chalene Newmeyer on August 16, 1933) is an American actress, dancer and singer. Her most famous role is that of Catwoman in the Batman television series.

Early life

Born in Los Angeles as Julia Chalene Newmeyer, Julie Newmar is the eldest of three children of Don and Helen Jesmer Newmayer. Her father was head of the Physical Education Department at Los Angeles City College and had played American football professionally in the 1920s. Her brother is John Newmeyer, Harvard Ph.D, a San Francisco-based epidemiologist, author, and Napa Valley winemaker.
Newmar was a "dancer-assassin" in Slaves of Babylon (1953) and the "gilded girl" in Serpent of the Nile (1953), in which she was clad in gold paint. She danced in several other films, including The Band Wagon and Demetrius and the Gladiators, and was a ballerina with the Los Angeles Opera. She also worked as a choreographer and dancer for Universal Studios.

Career

Stage and film

Her first major role, billed as "Julie Newmeyer", was as "Dorcas", one of the brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). Her three minute Broadway appearance as the leggy "Stupefyin' Jones" in the musical Li'l Abner in 1956 led to a reprise in the 1959 film version. She was also the female lead in a low-budget comedy, The Rookie. She also featured in many further films including the 1969 production, Mackenna's Gold.
Newmar had first appeared on Broadway in 1955 in Silk Stockings which starred Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche. She also appeared in the 1961 play, The Marriage-Go-Round, which starred Charles Boyer and Claudette Colbert. Newmar developed the role of the Swedish vixen and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. She later appeared on stage with Joel Grey in the national tour of Stop the World - I Want to Get Off and as "Lola" in Damn Yankees! and "Irma" in Irma La Douce.
Newmar appeared in a pictorial, in the May 1968 issue of Playboy magazine, which featured Playmate Elizabeth Jordan.

Television

from the trailer for The Maltese Bippy (1969)
Newmar's fame stems mainly from her television appearances. Her statuesque form made her a larger than life sex symbol, most often cast as a temptress or amazonian beauty, including an early appearance in sexy maid costume for the Phil Silvers Show, later known as Sgt. Bilko. She starred as "Rhoda the Robot" in the TV series My Living Doll (1964–1965), and is known for her recurring role in the 1960s TV series Batman as the Catwoman, the "purrfect" villainess. (Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in the 1966 feature film and Eartha Kitt in the series' final season.) Newmar made her own Catwoman costume—now in the Smithsonian Institution—and placed the belt at the hips instead of the waist to emphasize her hourglass figure.
In 1962, Newmar appeared twice as motorcycle-riding, free-spirited heiress Vicki Russell on Route 66, filmed in Tucson, Arizona ("How Much a Pound is Albatross") and in Tennessee ("Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse"). She guest-starred on The Twilight Zone as the devil, F Troop as an Indian princess, Bewitched as a cat named Ophelia given human form by Endora, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Get Smart as a double agent assigned to Maxwell Smart's apartment posing as a maid. In 1967, she guest-starred as April Conquest in an episode of The Monkees, and was a pregnant princess in the Star Trek episode "Friday's Child". She had guest roles in Columbo and The Bionic Woman during the 1970s.
Newmar appeared in several low-budget films during the next two decades. She guest-starred on TV, appearing on The Love Boat, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Hart to Hart, CHiPs and Fantasy Island. She was seen in George Michael's video clip Too Funky in 1992, and appeared as herself in a 1996 episode of Melrose Place.
The 1995 film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar pays homage to the actress; Newmar herself makes a cameo appearance near the film's end.
In 2003, Newmar appeared as herself in the TV-Movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt alongside former Batman co-stars Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwether. Julia Rose played Newmar in flashbacks to the production of the TV series.
Fashion designer Thierry Mugler, selected her as his model-muse for the catwalk of his 20 year couture celebration in Paris.

Entrepreneur

Julie Newmar at the 2007 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Ribbon of Hope Celebration
In the 1970s, Newmar received two US patents for pantyhose and one for a brassiere. The pantyhose were described as having "cheeky derriere relief" and promoted under the name "Nudemar". The brassiere was described as "nearly invisible" and in the style of Marilyn Monroe.
Newmar began investing in Los Angeles real estate in the 1980s. A women's magazine stated that "Newmar is partly responsible for improving the Los Angeles neighborhoods on La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue near the Grove."

Personal life

Briefly engaged to novelist Louis L'Amour in the early 1950s, Newmar married J. Holt Smith, a lawyer, on August 5, 1977. They divorced in 1984. She has one child, John Jewl Smith, who is deaf and has Down syndrome.
A legal battle with her neighbor, James Belushi, ended amicably with an invitation to co-star on his sitcom According to Jim in an episode ("The Grumpy Guy") that poked fun at the feud. An avid gardener, Newmar initiated at least a temporary ban on leaf blowers with the Los Angeles City Council.

Health

In 2008, Newmar was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Filmography

Newmar with Doris Roberts in November 2010

Television work