Movies On The Radio: A Tribute To Moms

May 23, 2018

A promotional poster for the 1959 Douglas Sirk film 'Imitation of Life'
Credit Reynold Brown

This year US consumers are estimated to have spent an average of $180 each for Mother’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. This month Movies on the Radio gives moms a tribute money can not buy with a show devoted to mothers.

Joining host Frank Stasio are movie experts Marsha Gordon, a film professor at North Carolina State University, and Laura Boyes, the film curator for the North Carolina Museum of Art. Unlike the June Cleavers and Claire Huxtables immortalized in television, the movie moms highlighted in this episode of Movies on the Radio represent the complicated nature of motherhood.

In “The Imitation of Life,” Lana Turner’s character loses track of her daughter at the beach and spends most of the film neglecting her child in pursuit of her dreams. Then there are the women who gave up their freedom to raise other people’s children like in “Auntie Mame.” State of Things listeners chose films with no shortage of overbearing moms and some who are just “Psycho.” Motherhood in other cultures is not much different as depicted in “The Joy Luck Club.” Through the story of Chinese immigrant mothers, filmgoers learn that the role of protector and provider is universal.