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I Found Stella Parish (1935)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 16 November 1935 (USA)
A theatrical star abruptly leaves England to escape her secret past, while a newspaper reporter follows her trail to America to get the scoop.



(screen play), (story "The Judas Tree")


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Complete credited cast:
Stella Parish
Keith Lockridge
Stephan Norman
Gloria Parish
Clifton Jeffords
Chuck (as Joseph Sawyer)
Walter Kingsford ...
Jed Duffy


Stella Parish, star of the London stage, keeps her private life a secret. After an opening night triumph, her mysterious past catches up with her and she vanishes before the after-party. When Ms. Parish doesn't show up, Keith Lockridge, an ace newspaper reporter, at first assumes it to be a publicity stunt. But producer Stephan Norman receives word that Stella is leaving the country. Lockridge is able to track Stella to a ship bound for America, where she is traveling under a false name and wearing a disguise. Aboard the ship Lockridge befriends Stella and her young daughter Gloria. In New York he becomes very close to Stella (now without the disguise) and Gloria, all the while digging up the details of Stella's sordid past. Stella confesses her love for Lockridge after he's already wired his story to his newspaper. With the truth out in the open, Stella sends Gloria to be raised abroad while she exploits her notorious reputation onstage. Sorry for the mess he's made, Lockridge does ... Written by Jimmy L.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amores Trágicos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


There was a widely held belief that young man in a wig and period costume appearing in a scene with Kay Francis in "I Found Stella Parish" was a young Errol Flynn. As reported by Rudy Behlmer in the March 1970 issue of "Films in Review" the writer and his collaborators, Clifford McCarthy and Tony Thomas concluded that the Flynn lookalike is actually Ralph Bushman (a.k.a. Francis X. Bushman Jr.) See more »


Nana: You don't know what a load it is off my mind, Stella, to see you happy like this. Who would ever thought in the old days that...
Gloria Parish: Mommy, how can days get old?
Stella Parish, an alias of Elsa Jeffords, aka Aunt Lumilla Evans: What question are you going to ask next? You run along and ask Nana.
Gloria Parish: Nana...
Nana: You go and ask James. He knows everything.
James: That's the ticket, child. You come out in the garden with me and I'll tell you a story about a day that was so old, it had a long gray beard. In fact, that day was so old, it was almost as old as Nana.
See more »


Featured in Comet Over Broadway (1938) See more »


Powder My Back
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Mort Dixon
Sung by the chorus at the burlesque
See more »

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User Reviews

Give this old Kay Francis vehicle a chance
6 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lots of people seem to have negative things to say about this old film, but you have to remember when you watch it that Kay Francis was the consummate precode actress. When the production code began to be enforced in 1934, Warner Brothers had to struggle to find the right vehicles for Kay that would also not violate the code. Although this is not the best work she did before Jack Warner threw her and her career under the bus in 1937, it is a solid little film.

Kay plays successful American stage actress Stella Parish living in England. Stella lives a quiet life with her daughter, and refuses to be interviewed by the press or have any photo taken of her that is not a publicity still with her in full makeup for whatever role she is playing. One night, after a performance, someone who recognizes her from "her old days" waits for her in her dressing room and attempts to blackmail her. Stella reacts by fleeing England in the dead of night, daughter in tow. Reporter Keith Lockridge (Ian Hunter) is on her trail looking for the story of his career. He finds that story - where Stella is now and who she really is as far as her past is concerned - but he also finds romance. Of course the whole time Keith is befriending Stella she has no idea he is a reporter. After he has already turned in his story to his editor, Stella comes to him, confesses that she considers him a trusted friend and more, and then tells him the story behind the facts he has put in his headline, all the time thinking he knows nothing of her past. Justifiably feeling like a heel, Keith tries to squash the story he has sent back to London, but it is too late - the story is already in the papers being sold on the streets. What did Stella do in her past to cause her to flee, and how will this pan out for everyone involved? Watch and find out.

This is worth watching for the reason that most Kay Francis films are worth seeing - nobody suffers for her past sins and more-so the sins of others that have done her wrong like Kay Francis, and nobody looks that good while doing so. As for Ian Hunter, I really liked Kay best opposite William Powell and George Brent, and I thought Mr. Hunter was just a bit too bland to be paired with the glamorous Kay in most cases. This is one of the exceptions as he really plays the part of the reporter quite well. He doesn't play a Lee Tracy style journalist here. Instead he plays a classy man with a not so classy job who has to reconcile this with a pesky conscience that's finally beginning to bother him.

What is bad about the film? For one thing, I've never been a huge Sybil Jason fan, and in this part as Stella's daughter she's just over the top sticky sweet. Also, the production values are thrown together. Someone has already mentioned the business of English cars with the steering on the left hand side as well as the odd play Kay is starring in that is supposed to be about ... Caligula??? I'd recommend this to anyone who likes Kay Francis and old films from the 30's, but do be advised there are more than a few holes in the plot and the art design.

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