Home Introduction Early Years Post WWII Wrap Up
Pinky and Lost Boundaries Imitation of Life and Showboat Post WWII films reflected the new opportunities that were available to blacks and the growth of liberalism. In 1947, Gentleman's Agreement, a film about a white journalist who passes as Jewish to learn more about anti-semitism, was released. The success of this film proved that there was a market for socially conscious films. In 1949, a number of "problem films" that addressed race relations dominated the box office. In Pinky and Lost Boundaries, the main character is passing as white. These passing films represent the complexity of passing and race relations in a way that passing films of the 1930s were incapable of showing.

However by the 1950s, the optimism for improved race relations had waned and blacks were beginning to organize for civil rights. The film industry responded by releasing remakes of films with more stereotypical black characters, Showboat and Imitation of Life. The modified Imitation of Life was a box office hit, and for many liberals, Peola's story was a reminder of why they were fighting.