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Trivia / Imitation of Life (1934)

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  • Dawson Casting: Fredi Washington was thirty playing Peola at nineteen. Rochelle Hudson meanwhile was the same age as Jessie.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The script faced constant meddling from the Hays Office because it dealt with miscegenation. It wasn't actually approved until the film was two weeks into principal photography.
    • The censors also objected to a scene where a black boy is nearly lynched for flirting with a white woman.
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  • I Am Not Spock: Fredi Washington was frequently typecast as "tragic mulattos" and got annoyed with people assuming that she was trying to pass for white like her character.
    "I have never tried to pass for white and never had any desire, I am proud of my race. In 'Imitation of Life', I was showing how a girl might feel under the circumstances but I am not showing how I felt."
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Peola is a biracial girl who tries to pass for white. Fredi Washington was an avid civil rights activist.
  • Playing Gertrude: Louise Beavers was only two years older than her daughter Fredi Washington. Of course Louise plays Delilah when Peola is a child as well, but still.
  • Those Two Actors: Claudette Colbert and Warren William starred in Cleopatra (no not that one ) the same year.
  • What Could Have Been: Paul Lukas was the first choice to play Steve, who was eventually played by Warren William.

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