5.8/10
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8 user 5 critic

Stage Struck (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 12 September 1936 (USA)
Broadway dance director George Randall (Dick Powell) is stuck with staging a Broadway show starring Peggy Revere (Joan Blondell), a wealthy but untalented performer who is starring only ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Peggy Revere
...
Fred Harris
...
Sid
The Yacht Club Boys ...
Singing Quartette
Jeanne Madden ...
Ruth Williams
...
Gracie
Craig Reynolds ...
Gilmore Frost
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Wayne
Johnny Arthur ...
Oscar Freud (as Johnnie Arthur)
...
Mrs. Randall
Thomas Pogue ...
Dr. Stanley (as Thomas Rogue)
Andrew Tombes ...
Burns Heywood
Lulu McConnell ...
Toots O'Connor
Val Stanton ...
Cooper
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Storyline

Broadway dance director George Randall (Dick Powell) is stuck with staging a Broadway show starring Peggy Revere (Joan Blondell), a wealthy but untalented performer who is starring only because she is backing the show. Tempers flare during rehearsals, but suave producer Fred Harris (Warren William) smooths things over by pretending to each combatant that each one secretly loves the other. Trouble is, Randall really has eyes for chorus girl Ruth Williams (Jeanne Madden). On opening night, the tempestuous Peggy storms out of the production, leaving Ruth to play the lead and carry the show. Can she pull it off? Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caprichos de Estrela  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dick Powell's doctor ordered him to rest his throat, Warner Bros. considered replacing him with Rudy Vallee. See more »

Quotes

Fred Harris: Sometimes the power of my own brain scares me.
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Soundtracks

The Body Beautiful
Written and Performed by The Yacht Club Boys
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User Reviews

 
This one really surprised me...and in the best ways.
16 November 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

During the 1930s, Hollywood must have made a bazillion films all about the production of a Broadway musical extravaganza. Most focused on the harried producer and the young ingénue who wants to make it big BUT the temperamental diva stands in her way. In this sense, "Stage Struck" is not the least bit original. It's just like "42nd Street", "Footlight Parade", the Gold Diggers films and many, many others. So why did I give this one a 9? Well, because although it was derivative, it did everything so well and featured some wonderful supporting players. For the genre, you can't do any better than this.

Dick Powell plays the producer, George Randall. He is very good but loses his job thanks to a very temperamental, annoying and untalented diva, Peggy Revere (Joan Blondell). She walks in to the theater, late for rehearsal, and begins barking orders and treating Randall like he works for her. Not surprisingly, he resents it and stands up to her--at which point she insists that Randall be fired. Ultimately, the show is shut down by her and her boorish behaviors. Oddly, she isn't even an actress but a lady who gained fame (much like Roxy Hart from "Chicago") for shooting someone! Some time passes and the unemployed Randall is enjoying the time off. Because of this, he is NOT thrilled when Fred Harris (wonderfully played by Warren William) tells him that he just signed him to produce his new show. Randall wants to go on vacation but his agent signed the contract--and Randall is stuck. Things couldn't get any worse, but they do...as his new leading lady is none other than Peggy Revere!! Neither is happy about this so Harris comes up with a wonderful plan--to use Revere's stupidity and faux sophistication against her. He convinces her that according to Freud, her hatred of Randall (and vice-versa) clearly is a sign that they secretly love each other! And, because Peggy Revere THINKS she is so sophisticated, she can't admit she knows nothing about Freud and soon falls for it. Now she's more than willing to work with Randall--in fact, she's thrilled.

There still is the major problem that Peggy Revere has no talent--other than the great ability to make folks hate her! What are they to do? And, there's also a very sweet and talented young wannabe (Jeanne Madden)--how does she stand a chance with Revere in the lead? See the film for yourself. What happens is both very predictable and crazy and unpredictable at the same time. Just see the film and you'll see what I mean.

In addition to wonderful acting by Powell, William and Frank McHugh, what I really, really loved were the song and dance numbers by The Yacht Club Boys. I've seen this quartet in other films but they never were used this well. Their song about the IRS and their acrobatic numbers were just amazing and could have stood on their own. Hilarious...simply hilarious. So was there anything I didn't like about the film I didn't like? Well, I thought Blondell actually overplayed her role a bit. It wasn't bad--just could have used a bit more subtlety.

Speaking of Blondell, one thing that makes this love-hate relationship more interesting is that she and Powell actually married about the time they made this film and the studio naturally capitalized on this. Alas, the film turned out better than their marriage--as they divorced a few years later.


3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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