MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 7,097 this week

Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 August 1937 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,893 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 26 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 09 Sep 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 09 Sep 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 19 Nov 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 30 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Stella Dallas" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Stella Dallas (1937)

Stella Dallas (1937) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Stella Dallas.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ball of Fire (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka
The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Forbidden (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In this romance a librarian takes a cruise and falls for an unobtainable man, a district attorney married to a crippled woman.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi
Night Nurse (1931)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
Baby Face (1933)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman uses her body and her sexuality to help her climb the social ladder, but soon begins to wonder if her new status will ever bring her happiness.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards
Drama | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A 100-year-old pioneer woman tells her story in flashbacks.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Shelby Barrett (Barbara Stanwyck) rides show horses for wealthy widow "Nicko" Nicholas (Genevieve Tobin)and meets Johnny Wyatt (Gene Raymond), scion of a once-wealthy Long Island Family, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Raymond, Genevieve Tobin
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Rita Wilson meets epidemiologist Chris Claybourne and they fall in love with each other. When Claybourne leaves for the tropics to find a cure against a disease, Wilson gets her revenge by ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor, Jean Hersholt
Illicit (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young couple lives together out of wedlock, but they find that they're ahead of their time.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, James Rennie, Ricardo Cortez
Stella Dallas (1925)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Henry King
Stars: Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett, Alice Joyce
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Boles ...
...
Laurel Dallas
...
...
Ed Munn
Marjorie Main ...
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
Dickie Jones ...
Lee Morrison
Edit

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:

Sure - I like a good time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Laraine Day's first movie performance. See more »

Goofs

When Stephen Dallas is first seen in his office, he's typing a letter. You can see that his fingers type several different keys, spaced out on the keyboard (probably in the middle of the middle rows), before he lowers his hands and stops typing to read. Then when he reads, you see that his letter ends with - -. It's not possible for him to have typed - - using the keys he was striking before he lowered his hands. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Margie
(1920)
Music by Con Conrad and J. Russel Robinson
Lyrics by Benny Davis
Played by the orchestra at the dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Eternal Theme Incomparably Played
6 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Young reviewers seem to get so much wrong about 'Stella Dallas' in that they deprecate what they mistake to be its "classism" and snobbery - which in 1937 were, of course, powerful extant social realities and motivators for Depression audiences. It would be helpful if youngsters would see Stella and her husband as characters separated by what's known nowadays as "irreconcilable differences," and therein lies the basis for the eternal theme of Stella's sacrifice: this is tragedy incomparably played because, as Barbara Stanwyck shows us, tragedy is intrinsic in, and flows from, a protagonist's immutable flaws. Of course one allows for youngsters misapprehensions of 'Stella Dallas' because the young have always lived in an increasingly socially-levelled America in which, since World War II as Tom Wolfe acutely noted, "every man" is "an aristocrat" regardless of how outlandish or extreme his dress or behavior, or how low or high his occupation, is.

It's also true that many of this film's naysayers mistake Stella's chameleon-like adaptations in various milieux to be evidence of poor scriptwriting, or of "unevenness" in the concept and performance of the title role. Nothing could be more mistaken for, as is each of us, Stella is a complex character whose handling of changing situations adapts to each of those situations, while her personality remains true to itself and cannot be altered (her "personality" is acknowledged by Stella herself with that very word in the soda fountain scene). Yes, Stella wed in a bid to gain wealth and class. Yes, Stella went dancing and was attracted to an unsavory crowd on the night she brought her newborn daughter home. But when she returned home the look, communicated with gorgeous subtlety, on Stanwyck's face tells that Stella's outlook - but not her personality - is in that moment transformed by motherhood. To rebut claims that Stella ought to have simply dressed-down or, as postmodern jargon has it, "gone with flow, "misses the point of tragedy being inherent in a protagonist whose flaws are the stuff of her undoing, I point out that Stella's care for her daughter is one aspect of her complex character - of woman as mother, and that her prole tastes - of woman as a person - are another such aspect: Stella can't be, or behave as, neither one, nor the other, but only as both, as a whole, person who is, like each of us, a tangle of contradictions in which she's snared for...life. It doesn't matter that the 1937 frame of reference here is "classist," because in every age there are standards by which people live; nowadays, for example, 'Stella Dallas' could be remade with Stella as a Gretchen Wilson redneck woman who weds a left-liberal snob into whose world she doesn't fit, or perhaps as a Lesbian-in-denial who marries because she hopes the incidents of marriage might keep her from losing her family's approval.

Stanwyck's performance here is nonpareil - how she missed an Oscar for this work strikes me dumb. Most reviewers praise Stanwyck for Stella's obvious heart-tugging scenes - the Pullman sleeper and the wedding climax; but I think Stanwyck also showed her chops in scenes in which she had to vamp it up in tacky clothes and excessive makeup - not an easy feat to carry off, to show that Stella is multidimensional, that she's devoted to mothering at the same time as she cannot be anyone but the lowbrow woman she was and is and will always be.

King Vidor's direction is masterful and the black & white photography, and the art direction, costuming and every other contribution of the studio system's artists working at their collaborative zenith, embody the perfectionism of film-making in 1937. The supporting cast is uniformly good, but the young Miss Shirley as Laurel and the dependable Alan Hale as Ed Munn stand out from among the others just as much as they needed to and not a jot more. Indeed this is another of those "they don't make 'em like this anymore" films to be enjoyed and treasured.


42 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The dad was a heel! rivergirl301
Scene That Makes You Cry... Blondfashionisto
Stella Preparing Potatoes Blondfashionisto
Stella Was Schizophrenic! sunrise333-1
This movie is so hilarious Towelieee
Barbara Stanwyck icarus_04
Discuss Stella Dallas (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?