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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


Brilliant In Cast And Story 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?


The screenplay was considerably altered from the hit stage play. Director Gregory La Cava was particularly gifted working with actresses. For two weeks prior to filming, he had his cast improvise in the boarding house set as if they were actually rooming together, and had a script girl take down all their interchanges. Most of the dialog you hear in the boarding house is extemporaneous ad-libs by the actresses during rehearsals. 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 »


Jean Maitland: [to Linda Shaw as she is leaving for a dinner date] Don't chew the bones and give yourself away!
See more »


Referenced in I Love Lucy: Lucy's Italian Movie (1956) See more »


A Sailboat in the Moonlight and You
Written by John Jacob Loeb and Carmen Lombardo
Sung and played on piano by uncredited actress, Betty Jane Rhodes
Sung during Kay Hamilton's last scene
See more »

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User Reviews

You're Invited To Eat Lamb Stew With The Girls At The Footlights Club Tonight
6 April 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

New York City. The Footlights Club is a theatrical boarding house where young women wait for the chance to make it big on Broadway. To deal with the disappointment & bitterness that can set in, they engage in wisecracks & gossip. Fiercely loyal to their friends, they can be wickedly spiteful to those that cross them. Always before them is their dream - to capture elusive success at the STAGE DOOR.

A wonderful film, fresh & sparkling, with great dialogue infusing its wit & drama. The rapid-fire cross talk is still a real treat for viewers - as is the chance to see several fine young actresses early in their careers.

The entire cast is excellent. Brash Katharine Hepburn is the new girl who quickly meets the `regulars': feisty Ginger Rogers, cynical Lucille Ball, wisecracker Eve Arden, lively Ann Miller, snobbish Gail Patrick & sweet Andrea Leeds. While the young ladies certainly get most of the attention, be sure not to overlook Constance Collier, terrific as Miss Luther the has-been actress. Growing old on bittersweet memories, she is a constant reminder to the others what, even with success, they still might become.

Adolphe Menjou gives his usual vivid performance as an immoral producer, while Samuel S. Hinds is good as Hepburn's father. Film mavens will enjoy spotting several familiar faces in uncredited roles: Jack Carson as a Seattle lumberman; Grady Sutton as a butcher's helper; Frank Reicher as a stage director; Franklin Pangborn, hilarious as a butler; and Ralph Forbes in the role of Hepburn's stage spouse.

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

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