STELLA DALLAS. United Artists, 1925. Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett, Alice Joyce, Jean Hersholt, Beatrix Pryor, Lois Moran, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Vera Lewis. Based on the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty. Director: Henry King. Shown at Cinevent 22, Columbus OH, May 1990.

   One of the great all-time tear-jerkers, and I don’t imagine there was a dry eye in the room at the end. Colman was a major star before the talkies, and I’ve never seen him give a bad performance, but this Belle Bennett’s film, and she carries you with her all the way.

   Is her performance better than Barbara Stanwyck’s in the sound remake? Maybe not, but I think it’s just as good, and I am a great admirer of Stanwyck in almost everything she did in the thirties and forties.