7.4/10
4,250
63 user 33 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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ball of Fire (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While 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
Baby Face (1933)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Victorian-era architect, commissioned by the Duke of Towers to design his stables, falls in love with the Duchess.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday
Golden Boy (1939)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden
The Lady Eve (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

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

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Union Pacific (1939)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff
Edit

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
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:

The emotional classic of the screen See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stella Dallas See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Far from Heaven (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score for the wedding scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Complexity of Mother Love
21 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Stella Dallas is probably one of the most complex roles in a soap opera for any female actress to play. She's loud, brassy, and vulgar. She also knows that she desperately wants some kind of class. Her problem is that she thinks she can marry it and her problems are solved.

For Barbara Stanwyck as Stella Martin that was only the beginning when she married Stephen Dallas played by John Boles. They come from different worlds, Stanwyck and Boles, and even with the birth of a daughter it doesn't bring them together.

Samuel Goldwyn had great success with the silent version of Stella Dallas, it was his biggest moneymaker as a silent film. Goldwyn waited until he found the right actress for Stella before doing it again.

Though he wanted Ruth Chatterton to play Stella, he was more than pleased with Barbara Stanwyck's Oscar nominated performance. Stanwyck hits Stella on every level just right, especially when she realizes after overhearing some women on a train talking about how vulgar she is and realizing what harm she was doing to her now grown up daughter played by Anne Shirley. Stanwyck makes the ultimate sacrifice for a mother and tears at the audience's hearts.

Two other performances I liked in Stella Dallas. One was Barbara O'Neil as Mrs. Morrison the widow who became John Boles's second wife. Her scene with Stanwyck as Stanwyck tells her to take Shirley off her hands is a classic. Barbara O'Neil was gracious and charming, and exhibits a discerning heart. This would have been her career role had she not also played Scarlett O'Hara's mother in Gone With the Wind.

The other performance is from that scene stealer Alan Hale as the good time salesman who Stanwyck takes up with. He's as vulgar as she is, but he also is not a bad person, just not anyone's ideal husband. Still they're as suited for each other as Boles and Stanwyck were not.

I guess the moral of the Stella Dallas story is that romance is not like water, it does not seek its own level. Maybe it should however.


36 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 63 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed