Stella Dallas | Chicago Reader

Stella Dallas

King Vidor's 1937 version of the venerable weepie demonstrates the power of directorial conviction over limp material. Even though Vidor isn't trying very hard, his dedication to the characters—particularly Barbara Stanwyck's Stella, an ambitious lower-class woman who ends by sacrificing everything she's won for her daughter—takes the film beyond the simple pleasures of well-made melodrama. 106 min.

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