Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Stella Dallas (1937)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Stella Dallas (1937)

In King Vidor's classic tearjerker:

  • the touching, famous sequence of Stella (Barbara Stanwyck) and her daughter Laurel (or "Lollie") (Anne Shirley) waiting at her unattended birthday party - removing plates as regrets were received until they were the only ones
  • the train berth scene in which her caring teenaged daughter came down to "cuddle" with her mother who had overheard criticisms (about being "a common looking creature for a mother")
  • a gauche Stella's self-sacrificing renunciation scene with Helen Morrison (Barbara O'Neil) in which she suggested giving up her daughter for a better life
  • the scene of Stella deliberately staging a vulgar appearance for her daughter in her showy, coarse and common style (reading a "LOVE" book, listening to loud music and smoking a cigarette)
  • the unforgettable final wedding scene and Stella's reactions as she was standing alone in the rain at the outer gate gazing lovingly and adoringly - with tears in her eyes (and biting a handkerchief in her mouth) - through the mansion's window at her daughter's high-society wedding
Stella in the Rain Gazing at Her Daughter's Wedding
  • the ending in which the gathering crowd was told by a policeman to move along - and afterwards, Stella's joyful stride down the street as the film faded to black

The Empty Birthday Party Table

Train Berth Scene

Stella's Deliberately Vulgar Appearance


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