7.8/10
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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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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:

The gaiety...glamour...foolishness and fun of showbusiness...played on the Great White Way 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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,835
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

Katharine Hepburn's box office power had been declining and was given a smaller part than she was accustomed, and initially she was to receive second billing under Ginger Rogers. Hepburn protested to RKO producer Pandro S. Berman, who told Hepburn "she was lucky to have the 7th role in a star picture". Hepburn persisted and was given more scenes as filming progressed, and she and Ginger Rogers eventually shared side-by-side top billing. 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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Operation Double 007 (1993) 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

 
Utterly perfect example of movie entertainment, 30s style
21 February 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Director Gregory LaCava apparently liked to hit the bottle and so had a spotty career, but Stage Door is his masterpiece. Not in some personal, auteurist way, but in having achieved an almost ideal example of Depression-era movie entertainment. Its venue is the Footlights Club, a theatrical boarding house near Broadway, where lamb stew and broken dreams are the nightly staples. Among the gals with stiletto tongues but hearts of gold are Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann Miller, Gail Patrick and formidable Constance Collier ("Could you see an older woman in the part?"). But the movie centers on the rivalry between roommates Katherine Hepburn, as a spoiled rich kid who tries acting as a lark, and Ginger Rogers, as a plucky thespian waiting for her break. Believe it or no, those diametrical opposites (aristocratic, ethereal Kate and tough, pragmatic Ginger) work like a dream together. The script negotiates a delicate path between pathos and bathos, and somehow keeps its balance, even when one of the troupers loses her grip on reality and...Well, enough said. Best of all: this is the movie in which Hepburn gets to elocute: "The calla lilies are in bloom again...." Sheerest heaven.


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