it's also i think seriously one of the best executed movies i've ever watched.
One of Sirk's richest masterpieces: cruel and cynical, but moving and gorgeous to behold. Perhaps the darkest film Sirk ever made about America, as well as a triumphant farewell to it. Sirk's social criticisms are extreme and pessimistic, but what makes this timeless is the human element at the heart of it, and Sirk remains one of cinema's most powerful purveyors of human nature at its most desperate.
One of the most intricate portrayals of racial tension and gender politics I've seen. The best thing about Sirk's films is that you can read them on two levels - one, the film itself, and two, its making. The fact that a white girl is cast as Sarah Jane says something about race, doesn't it?
A sweet and sour pie of the morality and values of it's time. Tasty, colorful in the outside, with so much hipocrisy, prejudices lurking inside. Its deep sensitive core could only be reached by Sirk's nobility. His lyrical and non judgemental treatment , helped by one of the best cinematographers that ever was, Mr. Russell Metty, and amazing performers.
The King of Melodrama ended his Hollywood career on an undoubted high with his most financially successful film. It's a classic rags to riches weepie which tells the story of two intertwined families over the course of a decade. Turner is the widowed aspiring actress who takes in a kindly black woman and her daughter after a chance meeting and employs her as a maid. A final magnificent masterpiece for Douglas Sirk...
i love the intensity of this movie and how well shaped and developed the characters were. just when you think everyone falls into an archetype, the character delves into a new transition which seems just as natural as who we thought they were before. take for example, lora's lust for power or sarah jane's deconstruction. i really also appreciate also how progressive this movie was civil rights era wise.
An emotional atom bomb. Juanita Moore and her daughter are the aching heart of the movie and the reason that it still touches us. Lana Turner and her daughter are just along for the ride. This is really subversive because I'm sure audiences thought this was a Lana Turner vehicle about the rise to stardom and evasive love story with Gavin, but it actually is a powerful document of 50s race relations in America.
"Women think in Sirk’s films. Something which has never struck me with other directors. None of them. Usually women are always reacting, doing what women are supposed to do, but in Sirk they think. It’s something that has to be seen. It’s great to see women think. It gives one hope. Honestly." “All sorts of things can be told better about women. Men usually behave the way society expects them to.”-Fassbinder
As the title song tells us, a life without love is merely an “imitation of life”. Directed by Douglas Sirk, the film examines mother-daughter rivalry, tackles the issue of racism and weaves these themes into a beautiful, albeit confronting film, rich in pathos. Gritty for its time, somewhat melodramatic, with elements still potent today. A must-see. Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner feature.
"A big crazy film about life and death. And a film about America . . . Not one of the protagonists realizes that all these things — thoughts, wishes, dreams — grow directly out of their social reality or are manipulated by it. I don't know any other film that shows this phenomenon so clearly and so despairingly." —Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Latter day Sirk with the emotional highs and wallows laid on with a spade (celestial choir and thumping piano chords to boot). As with his other so-called sly melodramas, there's a certain campy interest in the film - and it's certainly slick - but apart from the proto-liberal race plot line, there's not a great deal of subversion here unless you want to fill in the blanks yourself. Bad for your teeth.