Imitation of Life is the 1934 romance adaptation of the classic Fannie Hurst novel. One day before World War I, Delilah Johnson (Louise Beavers) comes looking for domestic work and gets the wrong address and comes knocking on Beatrice 'Bea' Pullman's (Claudette Colbert).Bea is a recent widow with a child and Delilah has a child the same age. Bea can't afford any salary, but Johnson is willing to work cheap, just for room and board for herself and her child. This starts an unusual partnership both personal and business because Bea's late husband was a seller of cooking syrup and Delilah makes a melt in your mouth type of pancake. When passing stranger Elmer Smith (Ned Sparks) tells her one day to package the flour, this makes both Bea and Delilah millionaires overnight. Johnson can't see it however and passes up her own household to stay with Bea.