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Stella Dallas (1937)

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


King Vidor


Sarah Y. Mason (screenplay), Victor Heerman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Stella Dallas
John Boles ... Stephen Dallas
Anne Shirley ... Laurel Dallas
Barbara O'Neil ... Helen Morrison
Alan Hale ... Ed Munn
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Martin
George Walcott ... Charlie Martin
Ann Shoemaker ... Miss Margaret Phillibrown
Tim Holt ... Richard Grosvenor
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Grosvenor
Bruce Satterlee Bruce Satterlee ... Con Morrison
Jimmy Butler ... Con Morrison - Grown Up
Jack Egger Jack Egger ... John Morrison
Dickie Jones ... 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


The emotional classic of the screen See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first of 4 nominations for Best Actress. Stanwick never got for her movies, however she got a Honorary Oscar. See more »


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 - - (i.e., 2 dashes). It's not possible for him to have typed - - using the keys he was striking before he lowered his hands. See more »


Ed Munn: Sarsaparilla? Honestly Stell. Some of the things I do for you.
See more »


Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »


St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by W.C. Handy
Played on a record in Stella's house
See more »

User Reviews

King Vidor and Social Differences
2 September 2015 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

Barbara Stanwyck is very good in this melodrama, but I believe little praise has been given to King Vidor, whom I have grown to appreciate in recent years as one of the best classic American filmmakers of all times. Precisely for this reason I finally acquired this film and enjoyed it very much, especially as he shows great perception to depict the cruel and too frequent irreconcilable differences that end relationships. In movies like «The Crowd», «Our Daily Bread», «Street Scene», «Hallelujah!» and even «Bird of Paradise» or "Solomon and Sheba» Vidor intelligently dealt with social, cultural, ethnic, economic or ideological differences, that still affect people and quite often impede any one of us to find happiness. Perhaps the ornamented Stella is a bit overdone, especially in the hotel sequence after she has previously demonstrated how to control her tendency to be excessive and vulgar in dress, make-up, hair style or social manners, when Mr. Dallas picks up their daughter to spend Christmas with him. But most of the time Vidor keeps everything tight, including Sherman Todd's film editing, and even Alfred Newman's melodramatic string overflows are well measured. I must add that the rest of the cast is all good, making «Stella Dallas» a rewarding film experience.

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Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stella Dallas See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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