Stella Dallas

Stella Dallas is a 1937 American drama film based on Olive Higgins Prouty's 1923 novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor and stars Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, and Anne Shirley. At the 10th Academy Awards, Stanwyck and Shirley were nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively.


In 1919 in a Massachusetts factory town, Stella Martin, the daughter of a mill worker, is determined to better her station in life. She sets her sights on Stephen Dallas, the advertising manager at the mill, whom she catches at an emotionally vulnerable time. Stephen's father killed himself after losing his fortune, leaving Stephen penniless. He disappeared from high society, intending to return for his fiancée, Helen Morrison, once he was able to support her financially, but, just as he feels he has made something of himself, he sees the announcement of Helen's wedding in the newspaper. Stephen and Stella have a brief courtship before impulsively getting married.