In the accompanying podcast, we discuss the latest in the series of magnificent Film Foundation Screenings, the 1925 version of STELLA DALLAS directed by Henry King and restored by MOMA. It’s a glorious experience to see a film now almost 100 years old, looking brand new, probably seeing it in a better condition than most audiences would have seen it upon first release, particularly if they didn’t live in major metropolitan centres. The quality of the image, the toning, the tinting: it’s a sensuous joy. We also praise the film itself. It’s a work that continues to move. We compare it to two later versions: King Vidor’s 1937 film with Barbara Stanwyck and John Erman’s 1990 version with Bette Midler. We discuss the treatment of class in all three films. José argues for the superiority of the 1937 version and praises Stanwyck and the extraordinary last shot of that film. That aside, we also discuss why we love this marvellous silent film, praised as a masterpiece when it first came out and then sidelined as a mere ‘woman’s film’ for many generations.
An experience greatly enhanced by Stephen Horne’s wonderful score, orchestrated by Ben Palmer.
The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT
and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546
Support materials for the film screening, including an introduction by Gina Telaroli, interviews with film critics such as David Kehr etc, may be accessed here here: https://delphiquest.com/film-foundation/restoration-screening-room/stella-dallas?fbclid=IwAR2CdlBDagS0zPCFNiUI0S7SHkN0Cqaxb4RzUT8Ms944SPHrt4QG-Sq0gN8
The ending of the 1937 version of Stella Dallas: