CINEFAMILY MOTHER'S DAY MATINEE : Stella Dallas (1925 silent version)

Some stories are just so powerful, so compelling, with veins so deeply rooted within our collective unconscious that we can't stop retelling them. Among these tales -- Stella Dallas. Before the famous Barbra Stanwyck version, the radio serial with an 18-year run and Bette Midler's '90s variation, silent beauty Belle Bennett starred in one of the era's most popular three-hankie melodramas, which chronicles a young woman's escape from small town drudgery by marrying a wealthy New York socialite (Ronald Coleman), only to have the marriage collapse after the birth of their daughter. After the split, she makes the ultimate sacrifice: sending the daughter away to live with the father, instead of with her, in poverty. This was a story that spoke to people, to women everywhere, regardless of their background, thanks not only to its great performances, but through the lens of screenwriter Francis Marion's sensitive adaptation. Bring your mom and a box of tissues to this eternal story of mother-love, sacrifice, and a woman's soul.

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