Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Stella Maris

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/161ae871_dc77_4f44_b2de_b764282dae29.jpeg
Two Mary Pickfords for the price of one!

"All unhappiness and world wisdom leave outside. Those without smiles need not enter".
Advertisement:

Unity Blake is the most unpopular girl at St. Martha's Orphanage. She gets ignored and bullied even by the younger girls. One day, a woman visits and decides to adopt Unity. Her luck has seemingly changed for the better. On the other side of town, a young woman named Stella Maris lies in her bed; she has been paralyzed since birth. Her wealthy guardians have prevented Stella from learning of the miseries of reality by keeping her locked away in a room. Stella however is happy with her life and oblivious to the world outside of her mansion's doors. The two girls don't know each other yet but they'll be united by a series of unfortunate events.

Stella Maris is a 1918 film starring Mary Pickford and Conway Tearle. It is based on a novel by William J. Locke. It received a remake starring Mary Philbin in 1925. Mary Pickford (and Mary Philbin in the remake) play both Unity and Stella.

Advertisement:


Stella Maris contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Unity's adopted mother treats her like a servant and constantly yells at her. She beats her unconscious when she comes home without groceries due to a group of boys stealing them. Louise ends up arrested and sentenced to three years.
  • Adopt-a-Servant: Unity is adopted by an alcoholic who wants her to act as her maid.
  • The Alcoholic: Louise and John were a happy couple until her drinking habit spiraled out of control and her personality began to change.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Drunkard Louise Risca's previous servants would always leave her. So she adopted an orphan so that she can clean her house.
  • Beauty Inversion: Mary Pickford plays both the adorable Stella and the quote-unquote "ugly duckling" Unity. Stella is Pickford as usual while Unity is a more plain looking version.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bowdlerise: Even in the pre-Code era, the film's dark themes were a bit much. The shooting of Louise is often cut.
  • Death of a Child: As a part of Stella learning that life isn't all gumdrops and lollipops, she reads in the newspaper about how a starving mother committed Murder-Suicide with her child.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Stella has been paralyzed since birth. Subverted as halfway through the film she regains the ability to walk.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Stella hits a Despair Event Horizon and becomes suicidal after she learns that John has a wife. Her views on the world dissipating are also a large reason for it.
    • Unity kills herself after killing Louise.
  • Full-Name Basis: Most characters refer to Stella as "Stella Maris".
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Despite all that happens to her, Unity stays a sweetheart. Until she shoots Louise, that is, and even then she had good intentions.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Unity's Murder-Suicide is treated this way. She kills Louise so that she can't hurt Stella or John anymore.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Stella has a faithful pet dog that she loves. She's also partial to cute kittens.
  • The Ingenue: The titular protagonist was crafted into one by her overprotective family. After gaining the usage of her legs, her perfect image of the world starts slowly breaking apart.
  • Messy Hair: Alcoholic Louise has long, unkempt hair.
  • One Head Taller: John is almost exactly a head taller than Stella.
  • Parental Incest: John adopts Unity and becomes her guardian, though they don't develop much of a familial bond and she's more like a servant. Unity later falls for him.
  • Precocious Crush: It's hard to tell their ages, but Unity can't be much older than 16 maximum. She has a crush on the older John.
  • A Saint Named Mary: Stella's name is intended to be a reference to the Virgin Mary; an archaic title for Mary is "Stella Maris". The titular Stella is The Ingenue.
  • Sibling Murder: Referenced. In a newspaper, Stella reads about a man who shot his brother.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": John's surname is spelled "Riska" in a newspaper article, but the titles and other text all display it as "Risca".
  • Stellar Name: Stella. On top of how obvious her first name is, her full name is another term for the Polaris star.
  • Your Cheating Heart: From a legal standpoint, John is still married to Louise when he begins courting Stella; however, their marriage is irreparable. Stella learns this the hard way when meeting Louise.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report