Stella Dallas

1937

Action / Drama / Romance

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 5126

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 27, 2021 at 10:04 PM

Director

Cast

Dickie Jones as Lee Morrison
Alan Hale as Ed Munn
Tim Holt as Richard Grosvenor
Ann Doran as Undetermined Secondary Role
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
972.04 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S 2 / 5
1.76 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 / 10

Four wet handkerchiefs

Barbara Stanwyck is the self-sacrificing "Stella Dallas" in this 1937 film directed by King Vidor and also starring John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neill, and Alan Hale.

The lower-class Stella Martin sets her sights on a successful businessman from an upper-class family, Stephen Dallas. The two marry and have a daughter, Laurel, but over time it becomes apparent that the marriage just can't work. Stella's a girl who just wants to have fun; the stuffy life and staid clothing just aren't for her. Stephen goes to New York to work, leaving Stella and Laurel in Boston. They both adore the little girl. But as she grows up into the lovely Anne Shirley, Stella thinks her slatternly presence may be limiting her daughter's chances for happiness.

This film is a major tear-jerker with an absolutely wonderful performance by Barbara Stanwyck as a warm, outlandishly dressed, and loud woman who nevertheless is devoted to her daughter and wants only the best for her. Anne Shirley is sweet and loving as her daughter, Barbara O'Neill is excellent as Stephen's ex-girlfriend, now widowed, and John Boles gives a gentle performance as the kind Stephen.

"Stella Dallas" will make you cry, but you'll be glad you saw it.

Reviewed by Piafredux 10 / 10

Eternal Theme Incomparably Played

Young reviewers seem to get so much wrong about 'Stella Dallas' in that they deprecate what they mistake to be its "classism" and snobbery - which in 1937 were, of course, powerful extant social realities and motivators for Depression audiences. It would be helpful if youngsters would see Stella and her husband as characters separated by what's known nowadays as "irreconcilable differences," and therein lies the basis for the eternal theme of Stella's sacrifice: this is tragedy incomparably played because, as Barbara Stanwyck shows us, tragedy is intrinsic in, and flows from, a protagonist's immutable flaws. Of course one allows for youngsters misapprehensions of 'Stella Dallas' because the young have always lived in an increasingly socially-levelled America in which, since World War II as Tom Wolfe acutely noted, "every man" is "an aristocrat" regardless of how outlandish or extreme his dress or behavior, or how low or high his occupation, is.

It's also true that many of this film's naysayers mistake Stella's chameleon-like adaptations in various milieux to be evidence of poor scriptwriting, or of "unevenness" in the concept and performance of the title role. Nothing could be more mistaken for, as is each of us, Stella is a complex character whose handling of changing situations adapts to each of those situations, while her personality remains true to itself and cannot be altered (her "personality" is acknowledged by Stella herself with that very word in the soda fountain scene). Yes, Stella wed in a bid to gain wealth and class. Yes, Stella went dancing and was attracted to an unsavory crowd on the night she brought her newborn daughter home. But when she returned home the look, communicated with gorgeous subtlety, on Stanwyck's face tells that Stella's outlook - but not her personality - is in that moment transformed by motherhood. To rebut claims that Stella ought to have simply dressed-down or, as postmodern jargon has it, "gone with flow, "misses the point of tragedy being inherent in a protagonist whose flaws are the stuff of her undoing, I point out that Stella's care for her daughter is one aspect of her complex character - of woman as mother, and that her prole tastes - of woman as a person - are another such aspect: Stella can't be, or behave as, neither one, nor the other, but only as both, as a whole, person who is, like each of us, a tangle of contradictions in which she's snared for...life. It doesn't matter that the 1937 frame of reference here is "classist," because in every age there are standards by which people live; nowadays, for example, 'Stella Dallas' could be remade with Stella as a Gretchen Wilson redneck woman who weds a left-liberal snob into whose world she doesn't fit, or perhaps as a Lesbian-in-denial who marries because she hopes the incidents of marriage might keep her from losing her family's approval.

Stanwyck's performance here is nonpareil - how she missed an Oscar for this work strikes me dumb. Most reviewers praise Stanwyck for Stella's obvious heart-tugging scenes - the Pullman sleeper and the wedding climax; but I think Stanwyck also showed her chops in scenes in which she had to vamp it up in tacky clothes and excessive makeup - not an easy feat to carry off, to show that Stella is multidimensional, that she's devoted to mothering at the same time as she cannot be anyone but the lowbrow woman she was and is and will always be.

King Vidor's direction is masterful and the black & white photography, and the art direction, costuming and every other contribution of the studio system's artists working at their collaborative zenith, embody the perfectionism of film-making in 1937. The supporting cast is uniformly good, but the young Miss Shirley as Laurel and the dependable Alan Hale as Ed Munn stand out from among the others just as much as they needed to and not a jot more. Indeed this is another of those "they don't make 'em like this anymore" films to be enjoyed and treasured.

Reviewed by evanston_dad 10 / 10

One of the Best Movie Performances I've Ever Seen

Barbara Stanwyck delivers, without exaggeration, one of the best performances I have ever seen in a movie in this gut-wrencher from 1937.

She plays the slovenly title character, ex-wife of a privileged and wealthy man, who decides to sacrifice her relationship with her own daughter (Anne Shirley) so that the daughter can have a better life. This material could have been maudlin to the point of dreadful if handled differently, but Stanwyck and director King Vidor deliver the goods without letting them soak first in sentimentality, and the result is a five-hankie movie. I'd already seen the final and famous scene, and so thought it wouldn't have the impact on me it might otherwise have, but I was wrong. I was a mess.

I used to think that Irene Dunne deserved the Best Actress Oscar in that year's race for her performance in "The Awful Truth," but wonderful as that performance still is, Stanwyck should have had it in the bag (though neither won; the award that year went to Luise Rainer in "The Good Earth.") Shirley was also Oscar-nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category.

"Stella Dallas" would make a great double feature with another 1937 release, "Make Way for Tomorrow." There's something about the themes and tone of the former that kept making me think of the latter, and they both made me feel the same way. Of course after that double feature you'd also have to reserve some time to be utterly inconsolable for a day or two.

Grade: A

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