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Stage Door (1937)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 October 1937 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,021 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 35 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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Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview in Hollywood the Golden Years: The RKO Story (1987), Katharine Hepburn relates that she was upset that she was given the diminished role of a character that she felt was pointless to the script. Hepburn asked director Gregory La Cava what was the essential point of her character. He responded "She is the human question mark." She then asked what that meant, and he replied "____ damned if I know!" 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

Eve: [after a dinner where Terry Randall has evidently spoken very eloquently about Shakespeare] Well, I don't like to gossip, but that new gal seems to have an awful crush on Shakespeare!
Susan: [jokingly] I wouldn't be surprised if they get married!
Mary Lou: [with genuine naiveté] Oh, you're foolin'! Shakespeare's dead!
Susan: [Feigning surprise, playing along to entertain the others] No!
Mary Lou: Well, if he's the same one that wrote "Hamlet", he is!
Eve: [playing along, too] Never heard of it.
Mary Lou: Well, certainly you must have heard of "...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Common Ground (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Sung by the women for Kay's birthday party
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Enjoyable, With a Fine Cast and Many Other Strengths
19 August 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

With a fine cast and an interesting, worthwhile story, "Stage Door" is one of the best films of the late 1930's. It provides good comedy - at least if you can keep up with the fast-paced, many-sided dialogues - and some interesting drama in the lives of its characters. The characters are well-developed, even the minor ones, and this makes the dramatic developments that much more meaningful. The atmosphere is a convincing and very interesting look at life in the theater, neither overly glamourized nor overly sordid.

There is a great deal of talent in the cast, led by Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, whose characters clash in interesting ways. Adolphe Menjou is an ideal choice to play this kind of genial cad. Gail Patrick also is perfect as an elegant but venomous young performer. Constance Collier is amusing as the would-be mentor for the younger actresses. Andrea Leeds is very sympathetic in her role. Most of the other characters in the boarding house get only small stretches of screen time, but they all make good use of it. It's also enjoyable just to see the likes of Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, and Eve Arden in some of their earlier roles.

The cast is the most obvious of its strengths, but the writing is also quite good, and Gregory La Cava's direction is very good, maintaining a good pace without rushing anything, and keeping a good balance between the amusing and the serious sides of the story. Everything works very well, making for an enjoyable and thoughtful picture.


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