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:

Brilliant In Cast And Story 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 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 »

Goofs

Right after Ginger Rogers says "Who were you supposed to be?" to Adolphe Menjou, the microphone picks up a loud "clunk" from off screen that sounds like a piece of wood being dropped. 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 I Love Lucy: Lucy's Italian Movie (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

A Sailboat in the Moonlight and You
(uncredited)
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

 
What happened to the great movies like this one?
29 May 2000 | by stills-6See all my reviews

Something very sinister happened to movies between 1937 and the 1950s that made this kind of film impossible to make. It's a terrific example of ensemble acting, with no one taking a back seat to anyone else. Ginger Rogers is absolutely amazing, especially after seeing some of the fluffy stuff she did with Astaire. It's hard to believe this is the same actress.

The dialogue zips along with lighting speed including some great laugh-out-loud one-liners. What a wonderful script! Very much like "Grand Hotel" in its structure and shockingly adult themes.

The relationships between all the women are so complex it's hard to believe it was actually made when it was. It makes men look very bad - at best we're imbeciles, at worst, Svengalis. And it has the same kind of uneasiness and disillusionment with the theater that "Sunset Boulevard" had with the movies. I wish there were more like it.


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