Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 August 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,088 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 28 critic

A low-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



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


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


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Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Als het moederhart spreekt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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


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


Referenced in Susan Slept Here (1954) See more »


I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
Music by James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent
Lyrics by John W. Kellette
Played on piano at the dance
See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful Drama Guaranteed To Evoke Emotions
16 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Make no mistake: this is a soap opera, plain and simple. Normally, that turns me off but I didn't mind here because Barbara Stanwyck is just superb to watch. Playing the title role, she dominates the film, and that's fine with me. I usually find her an interesting woman who makes her characters come alive.

This is a powerful story, especially so, I would presume, if you are the mother of a teenage girl. Here, Anne Shirley plays Stanwyck's daughter. What "Stella" (Stanwyck) does at the end of the film makes for a great story but I doubt, frankly, if any mother could do that. The story is guaranteed to make some impact your emotions! I don't want to say more to spoil anything.

I enjoyed John Boles role in here and really, really liked Barbara O'Neil's character, "Helen Morrison Dallas." Personally, I couldn't watch this many times but if I think it has so much to offer that I readily understand those who would watch this over and over. It has a lot going for it.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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