Introduction to Mom in the Movies
"Surrogate Moms" include Ginger Rogers in Bachelor Mother (1939), playing a single salesgirl who adopts a baby she has found on her doorstep. "Perennial Moms," those whose stories are told across the decades, are represented by Imitation of Life (1959), with Lana Turner in a turbulent tale of motherly love originally enacted by Claudette Colbert in 1934. Among "Crime Mothers" is Margaret Wycherly as Ma Jarrett, the monstrous mama who casts an unhealthy spell on gangster son Cody (James Cagney) in White Heat (1949). An example of what happens "When Moms Collide with Their Kids" is the turmoil in a Brooklyn household when a mother (Bette Davis) gets carried away in planning the wedding of her daughter (Debbie Reynolds) in The Catered Affair (1956).