7.5/10
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61 user 30 critic

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.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Als het moederhart spreekt See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Stanwyck underwent a physical transformation to play her role, in which she ages some 15 or 20 years. For the first and only time in her career, she bleached her hair. In other movies where she appears blonde, she is wearing a wig - and she does don them for certain scenes here. But she wanted to use her own hair whenever possible. Wearing wigs, she said, would mean that "I couldn't do anything with my hands, like running them through my hair. Furthermore, in her home Stella's hair was neglected, unkempt - and that just can't be done realistically except with one's own hair." Goldwyn's head designer, Omar Kiam, outfitted her with some outrageously tacky costumes that reflected her character's lack of taste. Late in the film, he added lumpy padding to her torso and legs. She wore five pairs of hose to make her ankles look thick, and at times her cheeks were stuffed with cotton. "It was a matter of upholstery," Stanwyck later laughed. 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

Arthur W. Morley: Mrs. Dallas, I wrote you a letter, and in it I stated...
Stella Martin 'Stell' Dallas: You don't have to tell me what you stated, just tell me what you meant.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Powerful Drama Guaranteed To Evoke Emotions
16 August 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See 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.


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