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Hello Class,
I am giving you films to screen through the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m doing this for two reasons but the main one is, everyone has busy days and are trying to find time to watch a film, sometimes watching tired.
I want you to learn and understand the idea of a screen story, which is the “thing” that makes a film a movie.
I hope you smiled at that last sentence.
As you watch both IMITATION OF LIFE films (1934/1958) and THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK, you will notice a theme about Mothers and the choices they make in trying to living up to the responsibility of being a Parent.
As you will learn, all of the films we screen have a connection to each other in some way. In this case, the original screenwriter for the 1934 IMITATION OF LIFE film is a great director named Preston Sturges. He is uncredited but he actually wrote the final draft and directed the picture. Most importantly story wise, he is responsible for removing the “n” word from the screen version of Fannie Hurt’s (1912) Novel of the same name. It is important to note, the (1958) IOL version put the “n” word back in many times over.
Mr. Sturges also made a great film about two teen sisters and a widowed Dad titled, THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK. Mr. Sturges was an inside connection. He did things in his films to push the ideas of race and gender forward which you will see in MOMC. That assignment will post separately.
This Assignment:
Compare and Contrast the IMITATION OF LIFE FILMS. Think like a film executive and answer these three questions.
(1) You are charged with remaking this film for 2025, what would YOU need to do to make it happen?
(2) What three scenes from the original would you keep and would three scenes from the remake would you keep and why?
(3) Give me your cast for the 2025 remake and your writer, director.
We should be able to watch these two films by the Thanksgiving weekend.
Email me for questions.
Enjoy,
Prof. McCane