Mother Knows Best (1928)

A stage-actress mother and her daughter in a battle-of-wills in a "don't do this, daughter" and "don't do that, daughter" story of youthful folly and over-zealous parental devotion.


John G. Blystone


Edna Ferber (story), Marion Orth (adaptation) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Madge Bellamy ... Sally Quail
Louise Dresser ... Ma Quail
Barry Norton ... Boy
Albert Gran ... Sam Kingston
Alyce McCormick Alyce McCormick ... Bessie (as Joy Auburn)
Annette De Kirby Annette De Kirby ... Bessie, as a child
Stuart Erwin ... Ben
Ivor De Kirby Ivor De Kirby ... Ben, as a child
Lucien Littlefield ... Pa Quail
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Schuler Billy Schuler
Anne Shirley ... Sally, as a child (as Dawn O'Day)


Ma Quail robs the till in her husband's drugstore in order to finance singing and dancing lessons for her eight year old daughter Sally. Years pass, and domineering, ambitious Ma Quail drives her daughter into a career in show business, guiding her from amateur nights to vaudeville and finally to the Broadway big time. Although Sally becomes a fine dramatic actress, her mother never allows her to develop a personality of her own and strictly forbids her any romantic life; whenever Sally falls in love with a young fellow, Ma drives him away. Sally eventually has a nervous breakdown, and a doctor makes Ma realize that she is ruining her daughter's life. Ma then reunites Sally with the boy she loves, and Sally returns to her former prominence as an actress. Written by Pamela short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


YOUTH AFLAME!!! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

28 October 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Does Mother Know Best? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (talking sequences)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It is unknown whether the film survives; it may have been destroyed in the 1937 Fox Studio warehouse fire, but that has never been confirmed. See more »


Referenced in Personality Parade (1938) See more »

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