Monday, December 19, 2011

107. Stella Dallas

Stella Dallas

This is one of those mother-daughter tearjerkers that I always seem to hate.  I will cry at the end of Star Wars but I always watch movies like this with a stony face.  Just wait until we get to the Terms of Endearment post!

Barbara Stanwyck won an Oscar for her performance in this film and it is well deserved; she is absolutely phenomenal.  Throughout the film, Stanwyck gets older and frumpier.  I always admire actresses who allow themselves to look ugly on screen.  I think the plot is just...meh.  A woman has to make the ultimate sacrifice for her daughter so her daughter can have shallow opportunities.

This is a movie worth seeing because of the amazing acting but not much else.  Unless you are into the sappy, female bonding movies, in which case, rent Beaches instead.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Ruth Chatterton turned down the role of Stella because she had just played such a bad wife in Dodsworth.

Became a radio serial in October of 1937 because of its immense popularity.

Available on YouTube.  First part:


  1. I actually had you pegged as big fan of this type of movies. I respected it a lot more than I liked it. It is an interesting angle for the story and Stanwyck is brilliant.

  2. I was also watching it thinking "Bet Amanda likes this...". Because of the strong, screen-grabbing leading lady. Which was the one element you did like.

    I thought this was fairly top-draw all round. How many great films could really be said to be built upon their plot rather than, in this case, the character development?

    "Rent Beaches instead"???

    1. Oh, OK, I admit it, I had a lump in my throat watching Beaches. But you can't tell anyone I said that. And this was still five times better.

    2. Lol I think they are remaking Beaches so keep a box of tissues handy!