67 user 35 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.


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


Sure - I like a good time! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Frances Farmer was suggested for the part of the daughter, but producer Samuel Goldwyn was not keen after having clashed with Farmer on his previous Come and Get It (1936). See more »


Ed Munn's photo on Stella's mantel moves from being beside the flowers to being directly in front of them. See more »


Ed Munn: Sarsaparilla? Honest, Stell, some of the things I do for you.
See more »


Referenced in Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997) See more »


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

User Reviews

Dated Melodramatic Class Warfare
7 October 2013 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1919, the ambitious Stella Martin (Barbara Stanwyck) lives with her working-class family and her father and her brother are workers in a mill in Massachusetts. Stella is decided to climb to the upper-class to party and she chases the mill executive Stephen Dallas (John Boles) to marry him. Soon her dream comes true and they have a daughter, Laurel. Stella has a vulgar behavior when she meets the horse gambler Ed Munn (Alan Hale) in a night-club bothering Stephen. When he is transferred to a better position in New York, she decides to stay in Massachusetts with her daughter.

Years later, Laurel (Anne Shirley) is a lovely teenager and Stella Dallas is a dedicated mother. When Stephen stumbles with his former fiancée Helen Morrison (Barbara O'Neil) is a department store, he asks Stella for a divorce to marry Helen but she refuses. Stella decides to travel with Laurel to an expensive resort and Laurel befriends wealthy teenagers. When the tacky Stella seeks out Laurel in the facility, the youngsters notes her vulgarity and Laurel decides to leave the resort without telling the truth to her mother. However she overhears the cruel comments about her in the train. Now Stella takes the ultimate sacrifice for the wellbeing of her beloved daughter.

"Stella Dallas" is a movie with melodramatic class warfare and top-notch performance of Barbara Stanwyck that was nominated to the Oscar of Best Actress in a Leading Role and Anne Shirley was nominated to the Oscar of Best Actress in a Supporting Role. This version is a remake of "Stella Dallas" (1925). In 2013, the story is totally dated and corny, but in 1937, the values of the society were so different from the present days that the movie was very popular and became a radio show from 1937 to 1955. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Stella Dallas, Mãe Redentora" ("Stella Dallas, Redemptive Mother")

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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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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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