The above video is the latest part of my ongoing sensuous-methological research on the STELLA DALLAS adaptations and their relationship to the forms and effects of the maternal melodrama. You can read about the first installment in this project in “The Marriages of Laurel Dallas: Or, The Maternal Melodrama of the Unknown Feminist Film Spectator”, MEDIASCAPE, Fall 2014.
Online at: tft.ucla.edu/mediascape/Fall2014_MarriagesMelodrama.html (this essay has been translated into Spanish by Cristina Álvarez López and published here, also: cinentransit.com/las-bodas-de-laurel-dallas/)
This latest work is a videographic comparison of the final scenes of three cinematic adaptations of Olive Higgins Prouty’s 1922 novel STELLA DALLAS: the 1925 version directed by Henry King, starring Belle Bennett as Stella Dallas, Lois Moran as Laurel Dallas, Alice Joyce as Helen Morrison and Ronald Colman as Stephen Dallas; King Vidor’s 1937 version starring Barbara Stanwyck as Stella (Martin) Dallas, John Boles as Stephen Dallas, Anne Shirley as Laurel Dallas and Barbara O’Neil as Helen Morrison, and STELLA, directed by John Erman in 1990, starring Bette Midler as Stella and Trini Alvarado as her daughter Jenny.
The video adapts music from the track ‘Sweet Tender’ by Jared C. Balogh, shared at the Free Music Archive under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License:
The video was first screened at the Maternal Melodrama Symposium, University of Kent, June 3, 2014:
Williams, Linda. “‘Something Else besides a Mother’: ‘Stella Dallas’ and the Maternal Melodrama,” Cinema Journal Vol. 24, No. 1 (Autumn, 1984), pp. 2–27 in JSTOR
Stevenson, Diane. “Three Versions of Stella Dallas” for Jeffrey Crouse (editor), Film International, Issue 54, Volume, 9. Number 6 (2011), pp. 30–40.