- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Love Stella Dallas!
Wonderful performances by Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley especially! How sad to see the mother - daughter relationship fray and end as the aging, increasingly eccentric Stella Dallas abandons daughter Laurel to live with her father for a better life. The look on Barbara Stanwyck's face in the famous final scene seems filled with sadness but also relief seeing her daughter's wedding from the curbside in the pouring rain. Barbara O'Neil as Helen (Morrison) Dallas is excellent as the understanding step-mother who as a mother herself seems to best understand Stella Dallas' desperate plea to take in Laurel and watch over her as Stella wants to exit Laurel's life. The complexity of emotions in a loving but limited Stella Dallas who still loves her daughter but knows she has nothing more to give Laurel just knocks me over. Alan Hale is fine as Stella's obnoxious drunk of a boyfriend. But Stanwyck and Shirley steal the show for me.
The Ultimate Maternal Sacrifice
Stella Dallas is one of the iconic characters of the movies. Originally a novel by the wonderful Olive Prouty, who also wrote "Now Voyager," this is the story of Stella, a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks who dreams of being like the swells in the movies. She sets her cap for Steven Dallas the refined, young gentleman managing the mill where her brother works. Steven is on the rebound from a broken engagement and vulnerable to her charms. Within a few dates they have eloped, by the time baby Laurel is born the young couple has begun to discover some serious differences. They both love their child very much but are hopelessly incompatible.From then on we see Stella struggle to raise the child she loves, usually with Laurel's best interests in mind, while still being true to her own funny, loveable, tacky, big-hearted nature. There are moments of comedy and moments of sadness and moments of frustration when you want Stella to think about what she's doing and make other decisions; but she wouldn't be Stella if she changed. Ultimately, she sacrifices her own happiness to give Laurel a chance at her own dreams, in one of the most heart breaking final scenes in film history.
- kevin sellers
After all the tears on all the hankies have dried, the message of this movie about a mother sacrificing her daughter to her ex husband's new family for the daughter's own good would appear to be: Better to live with a Stuffed Shirt Dad than a Vulgar Mom. Needless to say, this is not the material out of which great movies are made. Throw in a general lack of subtlety in the writing and direction (and I'm usually a big King Vidor fan) and a cloying score by Alfred Newman and you can see why I give it a C (and it would have been lower but for Barbara Stanwyck, whom I can watch in anything except The Big Valley.)
I love this movie.One of the best.
Incredibly, surprisingly moving movie
- Nicole Boyer
I have heard of this film many times and just have not watched it.................until just now. I am so moved by this movie. As a daughter I can only wish that I was as good of a daughter as the one in this movie, and as a mother, I can still hope that my daughter will one day be as proud of me with all of m flaws as the one in this film. Barbara Stanwyck gave a stellar performance, no pun intended! I am not a fan of hers necessarily, but had I seen this film first, I would have been one for years. If you are looking for a wonderfully heartwarming movie that will move you to tears, show you the meaning of true love, and leave you deciding that you are going to be a better person, this movie is for you. I also like "The Enchanted Cottage", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and " I Remember Mama". If you know and loved any of these movies, this movie will pull those same heart strings and leave you moved almost beyond words. I am so thankful for TCM, all of these wonderful movies that I never would have known existed until I was able to get this channel!
- Dashiell Barnes
A great drama from Vidor. Stanwyck gives a powerhouse performance as the title character, while Shirley is just as great as her daughter. I made the mistake of underestimating the power this film held over me, it's a heartfelt, tender story that made me cry. A finely crafted women's picture. I give it a 4/5.
**** The Best Mother's Day movie!
This is THE essential Mother's Day movie. The musical score just makes you cry with the scene on the train and then at the end!! I can totally relate to this movie, with my mother making sacrifices for me her whole life! Wonderful movie!
- Michael Carson
The movie was absolutly excellent Barbra was tough. I really enjoyed this movie.
This is one of the greatest and funniest movies ever made. Knocks the socks off of the movies they make today!
Nostra todo o potencial de Barbara
Este filme mostra todo o potencial de Barbara Stanwyck que na poca j era uma grande estrela talentosa. Ela podia interpretar qualquer personagem, pois fazia bem cada um deles.
This movie is one of the better ones that Barbara Stanwyck was in. Please show it on TCM so I can at least tape it. Please put this movie on DVD.
Isn't it Wonderful
- bonnie moen
Just thinking about this movie brings tears to my eyes. This beautiful child was so completely blessed with parents to love her so very much, but non so much as her Mother. Thank you TCM for making these movies available for viewing and purchase.