6.6/10
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Stage Door Canteen (1943)

"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:

Frank Borzage

Writer:

Delmer Daves (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

22 November 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Chuva de Estrelas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sol Lesser Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Most of the cameo appearances in this movie were filmed at the RKO Radio Pictures studio at Culver City in California but a few such as Benny Goodman's were filmed in New York City, the home of the real Stage Door Canteen which was located on 44th Street. See more »

Quotes

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 »

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 »

Alternate Versions

Many prints run at 93 minutes, cutting out many performances. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Alfred Uhry (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Machine Gun Song
(1943) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Hoffman, Mann Curtis, Cy Corbin and Jerry Livingston
Sung by Gracie Fields
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superstars entertain enlisted men.
3 August 2005 | by wmooresSee all my reviews

This movie has more stars in it than the firmament! Even more stars than its cousin Hollywood Canteen.

I remember seeing it as a child in 1943 and have had it on tape for years and wonder why it has not been digitally remastered. The picture is scratchy and bumpy in parts, but nothing can spoil the innocence of our youth in uniform ready to go off to war.

Cameo appearances of so many entertainers on one stage give you an idea of what vaudeville and the big band era were like. There is no plot line or even a semblance of continuity in the performances of these stars, but all are polished appearances as if the casts were on tour. Their time was donated and their patriotism shows through loud and clear.

The story line involves a group of army enlistees who are given a mini furlough in New York City before they ship out. They are in awe of the big city at first but are told of a place where there is entertainment and free food. This, of course, is the canteen. Over the course of less than forty-eight hours, Dakota, Californa, Tex, Jersey, and others pair off with hostesses at the Stage Door Canteen. It is amazing how quickly love blooms in this setting. The hostesses have taken a vow not to get involved with the fellas, but how can they resist when they see the innocence, charm, and sincerity of the boys?

If there are starring roles in the storyline, they belong to California and Eileen, though they are not paired as sweethearts. California (LonMcAllister)looks like a teenager and is so likable. He has never kissed a girl! Eileen (Cheryl Walker) is torn between her duty to the canteen and her love for Dakota.

Some have said this movie is a morale booster or war-time propaganda. I like to think of it as the way things were during World War II.


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