Stella Dallas, directed by King Vidor and starring Barbara Stanwyck, is the tale of a mother coming into her role as such, as the forces of real life threaten to take her daughter from her and how she deals with life in question. It’s a sobering tale, and one that you will be better off for having watched it, though the film may seem rather superfluous at first.
Barbara Stanwyck is the real star here, playing the titular Mrs. Dallas as headstrong and determined a woman as has ever graced the screen. The rest of the film, however, is very basic; not bad, but nothing that stands out as exemplary or worthy of note. it is just a very good film put together in all the right ways; better than the sum of its parts, really. Other than Stanwyck, there really isn’t very much else about this film to talk about, which in and of itself is a mark of good direction by Vidor, I guess.
I went into the film relatively blind, and I feel that this was an unwise decision on my part; I feel I would’ve benefited from the anticipation of what the film was about while I was watching it than spending the first half of the film trying to figure out where it was going. In this end, I hope my little review will be of aid in that regard. This is a simple enough film in its own right, but one that at least is worth the viewing, and I hope you give it a chance as I did and walk away pleased with the experience.
Arbitrary Rating: 7/10