Film

Imitation of Life

When: Sun., July 10, 2 p.m. 2016

Directed with gorgeous lushness by Douglas Sirk, Imitation of Life opens with two widows meeting on a beach and deciding to combine households. While Lora (Lana Turner) brings home the bacon with her Broadway career, Annie (Juanita Moore) stays home with their two daughters. In other words, it’s a mirror of conventional marriage, except between two women — one white, one black. As the latter half explores the crisis of the black daughter (Susan Kohner) who can pass for white, the iconic film becomes one of cinema’s great tearjerkers — both a cultural touchstone and a moving portrait of 1950s America. With Sandra Dee, John Gavin and a cameo by Mahalia Jackson, the 1959 classic screens at the McNay as part of the Beach & Boardwalk Film Series, a cinematic complement to the exhibition “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.”

Price: $15-$20