IMDb > Stage Door Canteen (1943)
Stage Door Canteen
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Stage Door Canteen (1943) More at IMDbPro »

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Stage Door Canteen -- A soldier on leave in New York goes to the Stage Door Canteen where they put on a show for servicemen during the War. He meets a pretty hostess and they enjoy the acts together.


User Rating:
6.7/10   1,148 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Delmer Daves (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Stage Door Canteen on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 November 1943 (UK) See more »
"Dakota," a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
(6 articles)
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User Reviews:
A once in a lifetime movie See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judith Anderson ... Judith Anderson

Kenny Baker ... Kenny Baker

Tallulah Bankhead ... Tallulah Bankhead

Ralph Bellamy ... Ralph Bellamy
Edgar Bergen ... Edgar Berger

Charlie McCarthy ... Charlie McCarthy

Ray Bolger ... Ray Bolger

Ina Claire ... Ina Claire
Katharine Cornell ... Katherine Cornell
Gracie Fields ... Gracie Fields
Lynn Fontanne ... Lynn Fontaine

Helen Hayes ... Helen Hayes

Katharine Hepburn ... Katharine Hepburn

Hugh Herbert ... Hugh Herbert

Jean Hersholt ... Jean Hersholt

George Jessel ... George Jessel

Gypsy Rose Lee ... Gypsy Rose Lee
Alfred Lunt ... Alfred Lunt

Harpo Marx ... Harpo Marx
Elsa Maxwell ... Elsa Maxwell
Yehudi Menuhin ... Yehudi Menuhin

Ethel Merman ... Ethel Merman

Paul Muni ... Paul Muni

Merle Oberon ... Merle Oberon

George Raft ... George Raft
Lanny Ross ... Lanny Ross

Martha Scott ... Martha Scott

Ethel Waters ... Ethel Waters

Johnny Weissmuller ... Johnny Weissmuller

Ed Wynn ... Ed Wynn

Henry Armetta ... Henry Armetta

Benny Baker ... Beny Baker

Helen Broderick ... Helen Broderick
Lloyd Corrigan ... Lloyd Corrigan

Jane Darwell ... Jane Darwell

William Demarest ... William Demarest
Virginia Field ... Virginia Field
Vinton Freedley ... Vinton

Ann Gillis ... Ann Gillis
Lucile Gleason ... Lucille Gleason (as Lucille Gleason)

Vera Gordon ... Vera Gordon

Virginia Grey ... Virginia Grey

Sam Jaffe ... Sam Jaffe

Allen Jenkins ... Allen Jenkins

Roscoe Karns ... Roscoe Karns
Tom Kennedy ... Tom Kennedy

Otto Kruger ... Otto Kruger
June Lang ... June Lang
Betty Lawford ... Betty Lawford
Bert Lytell ... Canteen Master of Ceremonies
Aline MacMahon ... Aline MacMahon

Horace McMahon ... Horace MacMahon (as Horace MacMahon)
Helen Menken ... Helen Minken

Peggy Moran ... Peggy Moran

Ralph Morgan ... Ralph Morgan

Alan Mowbray ... Alan Mowbray
Elliott Nugent ... Elliott Nugent
Patrick O'Moore ... Australian

Franklin Pangborn ... Franklin Pangborn

Helen Parrish ... Helen Parrish
Brock Pemberton ... Brock Pemberton
Selena Royle ... Selena Royle
Marion Shockley ... Lillian
Cornelia Otis Skinner ... Cornelia Otis Skinner
Ned Sparks ... Ned Sparks
Bill Stern ... Bill Stern

Arleen Whelan ... Arleen Whelan

Dame May Whitty ... May Whitty
Count Basie ... Conductor of the Count Basie Orchestra
Xavier Cugat ... Conductor of the Xavier Cugat Orchestra

Benny Goodman ... Conductor of the Benny Goodman Orchestra
Kay Kyser ... Conductor of the Kay Kyser Band
Guy Lombardo ... Conductor of the Guy Lombardo Orchestra
Freddy Martin ... Conductor of the Freddy Martin Orchestra

Cheryl Walker ... Eileen Burke
William Terry ... Dakota Smith
Marjorie Riordan ... Jean

Lon McCallister ... California Jack Gilman
Margaret Early ... Ella Sue

Sunset Carson ... Tex (as Michael Harrison)
Dorothea Kent ... Mamie - Jersey's Girl
Frederick Brady ... Jersey Wallace (as Fred Brady)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kay Kyser Band ... Kay Kyser Band
Count Basie and His Orchestra ... Count Basie Orchestra
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra ... Benny Goodman Orchestra (as Benny Goodman Orchestra)
Guy Lombardo Orchestra ... Guy Lombardo Orchestra
Freddy Martin Orchestra ... Freddy Martin Orchestra
Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra ... Xavier Cugat Orchestra
Harry Babbitt ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)
Dave Barbour ... Musician (uncredited)
Julie Conway ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)

Jane Cowl ... Jane Cowl (uncredited)
Helen Dumas ... Helen (uncredited)
Trudy Erwin ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)
Dorothy Fields ... Dorothy Fields (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Dubious Army Sergeant (uncredited)

Arlene Francis ... Arlene Francis (uncredited)

Mack Gray ... Waiter (uncredited)
George E. Green ... Freddy Martin Orchestra Member (uncredited)

Eddie Hall ... Soldier on Train (uncredited)
Louis Jean Heydt ... Captain Robinson (uncredited)
John James ... Don Brandt - Marine with Virginia Grey (uncredited)
Virginia Kaye ... Virgina Kaye (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Marine (uncredited)

Jack Lambert ... Sailor Cutting In with Ina Claire (uncredited)

Gertrude Lawrence ... Gertrude Lawrence (uncredited)

Peggy Lee ... Benny Goodman Orchestra Singer (uncredited)
Maurice Marks ... Jitterbugging Soldier (uncredited)
Jack Martin ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)
Sully Mason ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)

George Mathews ... Marine Sergeant with Ray Bolger (uncredited)
Marian Moore ... Marian Moore (uncredited)
Elizabeth Morgan ... Elizabeth (uncredited)
Caleb Peterson ... Johnny Jones (uncredited)
Francis Pierlot ... Minister at Jersey's Wedding (uncredited)
Django Reinhardt ... Django Reinhardt (uncredited)

Ruth Roman ... Girl (uncredited)
Lina Romay ... Xavier Cugat Orchestra Singer (uncredited)
Johnny Roventini ... Johnny - Bellhop 'Living Tradmark' for Philip Morris Cigarettes (uncredited)

Mortimer Snerd ... Wooden Dummy (uncredited)
Anne G. Sterling ... Attractive Woman (uncredited)
Arthur Walsh ... Jitterbugging Soldier (uncredited)

Jesse White ... Jesse White (uncredited)
Max Williams ... Kay Kyser Band Singer (uncredited)
Matt Willis ... Sergeant on Train (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Borzage 
Writing credits
Delmer Daves (original screenplay)

Produced by
Frank Borzage .... producer
Barney Briskin .... associate producer
Sol Lesser .... producer
Original Music by
Freddie Rich 
Cinematography by
Harry J. Wild (director of photography) (as Harry Wild)
Production Design by
Harry Horner 
Art Direction by
Hans Peters 
Set Decoration by
Clem Beauchamp (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Irving Berns .... makeup artist
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lew Borzage .... assistant director
Virgil Hart .... assistant director
Art Department
Victor A. Gangelin .... interiors (as Victor Gangelin)
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... sound technician (as Hugh McDowell)
Casting Department
Leonard Harper .... casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Albert Deano .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Hal C. Kern .... supervising editor (as Hal Kern)
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Fletcher Henderson .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Radie Harris .... talent coordinator
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
132 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Portugal:M/6 | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #9216)

Did You Know?

Features the only film appearance of Katharine Cornell.See more »
Soldier:Do you theater people have these canteens all over the country?
Ed Wynn:Oh sure we do. We've got canteens... Why they have one canteen in Washington D.C. It's the darnedest thing you ever saw. They don't have famous actors waiting on the soldiers like they do here. Down in Washington, congressmen wait on the boys. Those boys will starve to death down there you mark my words.
Soldier:Why Mr. Wynn.
Ed Wynn:Well, you know how long it takes for a congressman to pass anything.
See more »
Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6See more »


Lon McCallister---His Grandfather an RKO Watchman?
Pay---How Much Were Stars Paid for "Stage Door"?
Margaret Early---What Happened to Her After "Stage Door"?
See more »
42 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
A once in a lifetime movie, 24 March 2004
Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA

"Stage Door Canteen" is one film that you can unashamedly call a once in a lifetime movie without feeling a bit embarrassed by saying it. Simple and modest as well as grand and uplifting this movie probably did more to boost Americas morale during WWII then all the Blood & Guts war movies made during that war put together and did it without a single shot being fired and without anyone on "Theirs" side as well as "Ours" getting killed or wounded in the movie.

The fact that the film "Stage Door Canteen" can be seen today or anytime in the future without being taken back for a second by the off-the-wall, and even hysterical, war propaganda that was in almost all the films made during WWII by Hollywood shows just how good and unique this movie really is.

The movie is about a group of American Servicemen on their way to the European Theater of war and how they spend their last week in New York City before their sent into arms way via the dangerous North Atlantic convoys as well as to the bloody battlefields of North Africa and Europe. Getting to see not just how the man in the street but a galaxy of movie stars, that are just too many to mention in this review, appreciated their efforts in going "Over There" to fight the good fight where they may very well end up at the bottom of the cold U-Boat infested North Atlantic Ocean.

Beautifully filmed in black and white with a number of wonderful songs by the top recording artists of that time with the star-struck GI's Sailors and Marines dancing with beautiful girls and movie stars that they could only dream about about or see on the silver screen and motion picture magazines.

Watching the movie puts you right inside those servicemen heads and how they felt just before they were to face the horrors of war and how the American public felt an cared for them and how they went out of their way to show it. "Stage Door Canteen" didn't try to glorify the fighting in the war, even though it was made during the darkest days of WWII. The movie showed us those who were to fight the war as human beings who only wanted to do what was necessary to win the war so they could come back to their family and friends and the America that they left behind.

Like I said before "Stage Door Canteen" is a once in a lifetime movie that during those most bleakest and uncertain days of the Second World War shines like a beam of light through those dark clouds and gave hope to all those on the battlefield as well as those on the home front.

One of the most moving scenes in the movie was when a home sick GI asked Helen Hayes the first Lady of the Theater who played Queen Victoria on the stage to dance with him. Helen somewhat surprised asks the GI why he would want to dance with her since there are so many young and beautiful movie stars, much more beautiful then her, for him to choose from? The GI tells her, awestruck, that in the future, if he were to survive the war, he wants to tell his grandchildren that he once danced with Queen Victoria.

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