Marilyn French, The Women’s Room

stella dallas

Oh, God! I’ll never forget that last scene, when her daughter is being married inside the big house with the high iron fence around it and she’s standing out there-I can’t even remember who it was, I saw it when I was still a girl, and I may not even be remembering it right. But I am remembering it – it made a tremendous impression on me – anyway, maybe it was Barbara Stanwyck. She’s standing there and it’s cold and raining and she’s wearing a thin little coat and shivering, and the rain is coming down on her poor head and streaming down her face with the tears, and she stands there watching the lights and hearing the music and then she just drifts away. How they got us to consentt o our own eradication!I didn’t just feel pity for her; I felt that shock of recognition – you know, when you see what you sense is your own destiny up there on the screen or on the stage. You might say I’ve spent my whole life trying to arrange a different destiny!

Marilyn French, The Women’s Room
Summit Books, 1977

(Extrait cité dans : « Something Else besides a Mother : “Stella Dallas” and the Maternal Melodrama », article de Linda Williams issu de Cinema Journal, vol. 24, nº 1, automne 1984, University of Texas Press / Society for Cinema & Media Studies)

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