Stella Dallas (1937). A film based on the Olive Higgins Prouty novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles and Anne Shirley. Stanwyck was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Shirley for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Stella Martin, the daughter of a mill worker, falls in love with mill executive Stephen Dallas. just after his father, kills himself after losing his fortune.
Stephen, intending to marry his fiancee Helen, once he was financially able to support her, is broken-hearted after he reads in the newspaper the announcement of her wedding. He marries Stella, on the rebound.
A year later, their daughter Laurel is born, she is the only bond between her parents.
Stephen, tries to help Stella become more sophisticated, but without success. He also disapproves of her friendship with the low life, Ed Munn.
When Stephen, receives a promotion that has him to moinge to New York, Stella tells him he can go by himself. Laurel stays with her mother, but visits her father whenever she can..
Years later, Stephen runs into Helen, now a wealthy widow with three sons. They renew their love affair. Stephen asks Stella for a divorce, but she turns him down.
Stella takes Laurel to a fancy resort, where Laurel and Richard Grosvenor III fall in love.
Stella, recovering from an illness, becomes ridiculed for her tacky appearance. Embarrassed, Laurel wants to leave without telling her why. On the train, Stella overhears the truth.
When Stella goes to speak with Helen, she learns that Helen and Steve are in love and agrees to a divorce and asks that Laurel live with them. Helen, understands and agrees. When Laurel learns of the agreement, she refuses and returns home. Stella, pretends that she wants Laurel off her hands so she can marry Ed Munn and travel to South America. Heatbroken Laurel runs back to her father.
Later, Laurel and Richard get married. Stella watches from across the street through a window, Helen leaves the curtains open, so Stella can watch from the street below. Happy, she walks away in the rain.
This is a wonderful movie and Barbara Stanwyck, is one of the few actresses who can easily play poor and classy with no problem. You will never forget her performance in the birthday party scene.
In 1934 she starred as the character of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables and took that character's name as her stage name.
She starred in Steamboat 'Round the Bend, Make Way for a Lady and Stella Dallas, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Later roles: Vigil in the Night, Anne of Windy Poplars, The Devil and Daniel Webster and Murder, My Sweet, her final film.
Her first husband was the actor John Payne, and their daughter is former actress Julie Payne.
Her second husband was producer Adrian Scott. When he was blacklisted and decided to move the family to Europe, at the last minute she wrote him a "Dear John" letter saying she'd rather stay behind and divorce him.
Her third husband was Charles Lederer, nephew of Marion Davies. They had a son named Daniel Lederer.