7.5/10
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56 user 29 critic

Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 6 August 1937 (USA)
A low-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Laurel Dallas
...
...
Ed Munn
...
Mrs. Martin
...
Charlie Martin
...
Miss Margaret Phillibrown
...
Richard Grosvenor
...
Mrs. Grosvenor
Bruce Satterlee ...
Con Morrison
Jimmy Butler ...
Con Morrison - Grown Up
Jack Egger ...
John Morrison
...
Lee Morrison
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Storyline

Working-class Stella Martin marries high-end Stephen Dallas and soon they have a daughter named Laurel. But Stephen's incessant demands of Stella to become what she isn't leads to their eventual separation. Stephen later marries Helen Morrison (his prior fiancée), and Laurel becomes the focus of Stella's life and love. Nothing is too good for Laurel as far as Stella is concerned. Determined to give her all the advantages, she takes Laurel on a trip to an expensive resort where Laurel makes friends with rich kids. After an embarrassing incident, Stella realizes that her daughter would go farther in life without Stella as her mother. Her subsequent sacrifice is shattering. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The emotional classic of the screen See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Als het moederhart spreekt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anne Shirley, who had grown up making movies and celebrated her 18th birthday during production, felt that King Vidor was ignoring her and not offering any direction. She finally made an appointment to see Samuel Goldwyn and tearfully informed him that she felt unwanted in the role and should be replaced. Goldwyn phoned Vidor to say, "I don't care what you tell the kid. Tell her she's lousy if she's great or great if she's lousy. Tell her any damn thing you please. I just can't cope with hysterical females and I don't want to be bothered again!" See more »

Goofs

Ed Munn's photo on Stella's mantle moves from being beside the flowers to being directly in front of them. See more »

Quotes

Stella Martin 'Stell' Dallas: I've always been known to have a stack of style!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score for the wedding scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not for the unsentimental
14 July 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I love this movie and have seen it time and time again. This doesn't have the control and grace of a Douglas Sirk melodrama (and it is certainly earlier than Sirk), but this movie still has "stacks of style" as Stella herself would say. Extremely well set up story even if it is a bit far-fetched in places. Barbara Stanwyck is, well... pretty much unbeatable. She is one of the few actresses who can walk that tightrope between trashy and classy and make the two not feel mutually exclusive. As much as her character is overblown or enlarged from reality, this role is one that is a good deal more complex than most. Stanwyck was not an actress who felt she had to play everything for sympathy with the result that the moments when you feel bad for her hit you even harder than you expected. The birthday party scene is triumphantly painful and not to be missed. Anne Shirley ,who plays Laurel Dallas, Stella's daughter, I would bet will be overly sweet for a lot of viewers (myself included) but her manufactured sweetness only brings the complexity of Stella herself to the fore. This film never really misses a beat. It knows what it wants to do and it does it as unapologetically as Stella would.


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