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Stage Door (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  8 October 1937 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,393 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 38 critic

A boardinghouse full of aspiring actresses and their ambitions, dreams and disappointments.

Director:

(as Gregory LaCava)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Title: Stage Door (1937)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gail Patrick ...
Linda Shaw
...
Miss Luther
Andrea Leeds ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Henry Sims
...
Judith
...
Harcourt
William Corson ...
Pierre Watkin ...
Carmichael
Grady Sutton ...
Butch
...
Stage Director
...
Mr. Milbanks
Phyllis Kennedy ...
Hattie
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Storyline

Terry Randall, rich society beauty, has decided to see if she can break into the Broadway theatre scene without her family connections. She goes to live in a theatrical boarding house and finds her life caught up with those of the other inmates and the ever-present disappointment that theatrical hopefuls must live with. Her smart-mouth roommate, Jean, is approached by a powerful producer for more than just a role. And Terry's father has decided to give her career the shove by backing a production for her to star in, in which she's sure to flop. But his machinations hurt more than just Terry. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brilliant In Cast And Story See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pension d'artistes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$952,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The AFI Catalog lists a stand-in for Olive Hatch. Since she is not in the cast, we may infer she once as a significant role in the movie, but eventually was dropped. Stand-ins are usually provided only for stars. See more »

Goofs

The band at Club Grotto, where Jean and Annie perform a dance number, includes a female vocalist who can be seen singing in the background, but no vocals are heard on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Miss Luther: [to Terry] You're an actress now. You belong to these people.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Sung by the women as Judith leaves to get married
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The calla lilies are blooming...
9 February 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Watch this movie, *any way* you can.

Seriously, you won't be disappointed.

It's a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours: where else would you get an all-star cast that would make your jaw drop today (Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann Miller etc. etc.), and a clever, witty script played to the hilt by the astounding cast?

The story is fairly simple: Terry Randall (Hepburn) moves into the Footlights Club to begin her career as an actress. Viewed as an odd cookie by the rest of the girls, her room-mate Jean (Rogers) especially, she starts to win them over until she wins the part belonging to Kaye (Andrea Leeds). Not wins, so much as given. It takes a tragedy to turn Terry into the actress she could be, and the friend she eventually becomes as she remains in the Footlights Club.

This film benefits from a truly amazing cast: Hepburn is glorious as Terry, an independent, in-your-face girl from the upper class, unsure why she's not liked by her new friends as she blithely (and unknowingly) talks down to them; but fiercely loyal and protective of them nonetheless. Witness Terry's outburst in Powell's office, or the way she puts Jean, much the worse for wine, to bed. Hepburn is truly great in her emotional scenes, when she is called to perform on stage despite the revelation she's received just beforehand.

Hepburn alone doesn't make the movie though (as she eventually does in lesser vehicles with less worthy co-stars). Ginger Rogers as Jean is a breath of fresh air. She's quirky, charming, and just generally appealing in her role, playing Jean with a wonderful confidence that bodes well for the character. You warm to Jean immediately. I love Rogers' drunken scenes with Menjou--ditzy yet sweet.

The supporting cast is fantastic as well, Lucille Ball never missing a chance to steal a scene or make a quip, Eve Arden fast on her heels. Andrea Leeds overacts a little, I think, but is generally good in her demanding role as Kaye--she does an excellent job on the staircase towards the end of the movie.

Absolutely A+. Everything Hollywood should be, was, and now isn't.


41 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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