6.6/10
1,217
35 user 5 critic

Stage Door Canteen (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 22 November 1943 (UK)
"Dakota," a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and films appear and host a recreational center for servicemen ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the bride's mother is supposedly swindled out of her money by a spurned suitor, the groom's father orchestrates a scheme of his own to set things right. He is aided by a cabaret singer... See full summary »

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Martha Scott, Pola Negri
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
The Chase (1946)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chuck Scott gets a job as chauffeur to tough guy Eddie Roman; but Chuck's involvement with Eddie's fearful wife becomes a nightmare.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Cummings, Michèle Morgan, Steve Cochran
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor
Impact (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York bandleader journeys to Hollywood when he is offered a contract with a studio, but he is determined to do things his way and not theirs.

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: James Cagney, Evelyn Daw, William Frawley
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young
Drama | Film-Noir | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, Marsha Hunt
Alice Adams (1935)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A lawyer suffers a guilt complex after getting a murder acquittal for his client, and then finding out she did commit the crime.

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Raymond Burr, Dick Foran
Time Table (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a train speeds through the Arizona night, a man posing as a physician holds up the baggage-car crew and escapes with a $500,000 payroll. The fake doctor, Paul Bruckner, leaves the train ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Stevens
Stars: Mark Stevens, King Calder, Felicia Farr
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kenny Baker
...
...
Ralph Bellamy
...
Edgar Berger
...
...
Ray Bolger
...
Ina Claire
Katharine Cornell ...
Katherine Cornell
...
...
Lynn Fontaine
...
Helen Hayes
...
...
Hugh Herbert
...
Jean Hersholt
Edit

Storyline

"Dakota," a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and films appear and host a recreational center for servicemen during the war. Dakota meets a pretty young hostess, Eileen, and they enjoy the many entertainers and a growing romance. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 November 1943 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Chuva de Estrelas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ed Wynn provided the voice of the Mad Hatter in Walt Disney's film, Alice in Wonderland. See more »

Quotes

Lynn Fontaine: I do say it myself. I can flirt up a pretty sandwich. This is for my darling.
Alfred Lunt: Wellll... thank you my dear!
Lynn Fontaine: Ohh, it's not for you. It's for that adorable sailor from Savannah.
Alfred Lunt: Oh, is that the boy who came up to me the other day and said, "Thank you Mr. Lunt" and I said you're welcome but what for? And he said, "I'm having so much fun with your wife?"
Lynn Fontaine: Oh no, no. That boy came from Norfolk.
Alfred Lunt: Oh, you do get around don't you!
Lynn Fontaine: I don't but the sailors do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All rights granted by the American Theater Wing which gratefully acknowledges and credits the producers, stars and members of all the theatrical unions, guilds, crafts and associations for their participation in the creation and continuance of the original Stage Door Canteen. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Stage Door Cartoon (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

U.S. Marine Corps Hymn
(1868) (uncredited)
(also called "The Marines' Hymn")
Music by Jacques Offenbach from "Genevieve de Brabant" (1868)
Lyrics by L.Z. Phillips (1919) (unconfirmed)
Sung by marines in the Canteen before leaving
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Big stars, small cameos, good film...
17 October 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

STAGE DOOR CANTEEN, of course, is set during WWII, and its main locale is the canteen of the film's title that is run and staffed by stars of the cinema and stage. The New York version of the Hollywood Canteen set up on the West Coast by Bette Davis and others, the Stage Door Canteen welcomes the boys in uniform when they're on leave, giving them a little comfort, a little entertainment, a little taste of home. Although STAGE DOOR CANTEEN really is about the big-name entertainment involved (with cameos by top-billed stars like Katharine Hepburn, Harpo Marx and Ray Bolger among others), it tries also to tell a heartwarming tale of the bravery of the boys who must fight, if necessary to the death, so that the rest of their country might live in peace. The loyal and brave Dakota (William Terry) stumbles into love with the initially selfish, haughty Eileen (Cheryl Walker); young California (Lon McAllister) keeps missing out on his first kiss with Jean (Marjorie Riordan) and Tex (Sunset Carson) wants to go back west with Ella Sue (Margaret Early) when the fighting's done. It all revolves around the idea of the boys having something--someone--to fight for overseas, someone to write home to, someone to come home to.

In that sense, the film succeeds; I was actually rather moved by the final words each boy left for his girl at the end of the film. That doesn't mean the film isn't a little saccharine though; it *has* to be--it was meant to be a morale booster during the 1940s (including, as it does, songs about shooting down Japanese planes and marching into Berlin). It rides on the strong wave of American patriotism at the time, reflecting and hoping to add to it, and even hints at an internationalism unheard of these days (the crowd cheers for Russian soldiers and carries Chinese pilots on their shoulders in tribute to their bravery). If you strip it of these time-bound scenes, however, the message and the courage remains, which is what makes STAGE DOOR CANTEEN still a film that one can enjoyably sit through not just for the glamorous star cameos. It's sweet when California keeps trying to kiss Jean and missing out (including an incredibly frustrating final attempt when someone cuts in on them when they're dancing!), and you feel just as dejected as Eileen must when she realises that Dakota *isn't* coming back this time. (Let us, for now, leave aside the fact that I can't seem to find a redeeming quality in Eileen beyond the fact that she's willing to break the canteen rules to make it up to Dakota for being mean to him at first.)

The big-name entertainment in STAGE DOOR CANTEEN really can't be faulted: there are appearances by the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Xavier Cugat and Count Basie (to name just a few!); cameos by Merle Oberon, Katharine Cornell and Alan Mowbray; and a pretty literal striptease that ends way too soon for the boys' liking by Gypsy Rose Lee. My favourite numbers would be 'We Mustn't Say Goodbye' and 'Don't Worry Island', alongside Yehudi Menuhin's beautiful rendition of 'Ave Maria' (unfortunately given under some quite terrible lighting) and the very funny opening act with Edgar Bergen and Charlie. As, essentially, the final act, Hepburn gives her few words great weight and is as striking as ever with her five minutes (tops!) of screen time.

All in all, STAGE DOOR CANTEEN is great fun to watch. It'd be even better fun if one knew all of the people making cameos in it--I could only half-guess at most of them, and I'm sure I missed many many others. A sweet, patriotic film made with a very definite purpose, and if you make allowances for that purpose, it's easy to accept the overdoing of the message, and appreciate the film for what it is... good, clean entertainment!


25 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?