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Stage Door (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  8 October 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,572 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 38 critic

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


(as Gregory LaCava)


(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gail Patrick ...
Linda Shaw
Miss Luther
Andrea Leeds ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Henry Sims
William Corson ...
Pierre Watkin ...
Grady Sutton ...
Stage Director
Mr. Milbanks
Phyllis Kennedy ...


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


GREAT STARS! GREAT STORY! GREAT PICTURE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pension d'artistes  »

Box Office


$952,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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


Referenced in Twice in a Lifetime: The Trouble with Harry (2000) See more »


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

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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