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
Incredibly, Ann Miller was only 14 years old when she appeared in this film. She had lied about her age and procured a fake birth certificate, but the precocious Miller was so tall and beautiful at age 14 that she pulled it off. With this knowledge, today it is quite impressive to see her holding her own while dancing with Ginger Rogers, by then an international star as the dance partner of Fred Astaire, See more »
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 »
[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!
I wouldn't be surprised if they get married!
[with genuine naiveté]
Oh, you're foolin'! Shakespeare's dead!
[Feigning surprise, playing along to entertain the others]
Well, if he's the same one that wrote "Hamlet", he is!
[playing along, too]
Never heard of it.
Well, certainly you must have heard of "...
[...] See more »
Very Enjoyable, With a Fine Cast and Many Other Strengths
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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