7.8/10
6,805
77 user 39 critic

Stage Door (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 8 October 1937 (USA)
A chronicle of the ambitions, dreams, and disappointments of aspiring actresses who all live in the same boarding house.

Director:

Gregory La Cava (as Gregory LaCava)

Writers:

Morrie Ryskind (screen play), Anthony Veiller (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katharine Hepburn ... Terry Randall
Ginger Rogers ... Jean Maitland
Adolphe Menjou ... Anthony Powell
Gail Patrick ... Linda Shaw
Constance Collier ... Miss Luther
Andrea Leeds ... Kay Hamilton
Samuel S. Hinds ... Henry Sims
Lucille Ball ... Judith Canfield
Franklin Pangborn ... Harcourt
William Corson William Corson ... Bill
Pierre Watkin ... Carmichael
Grady Sutton ... Butch
Frank Reicher ... Stage Director
Jack Carson ... Mr. Milbanks
Phyllis Kennedy ... Hattie
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stage Door See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$952,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The AFI Catalog lists a stand-in for Olive Hatch. Since she is not in the cast, it may be inferred she once had a significant role in the movie, but eventually was dropped. Stand-ins are usually provided only for stars. See more »

Goofs

In the scene between Terry and Tony Powell, where there is a discussion about being 'framed', Powell is initially opposite Terry across the shelf with the photos, whereas in the next shot he has moved to being at right angles to her on her left side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judy Canfield: Do you have to do that?
See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: A shot of a man mowing the grass around Kay's grave is missing from some versions. See more »

Connections

Remade as Career Girl (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

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 Snow LeopardSee 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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