6.2/10
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38 user 7 critic

Stage Door Canteen (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 22 November 1943 (UK)
"Dakota" Smith (William Terry), a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and movies appear and host a recreational ... 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" Smith (William Terry), a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and movies appear and host a recreational center for servicemen during the war. Dakota meets a pretty young hostess, Eileen Burke (Cheryl Walker), 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's storyline of a GIs romance with a Canteen girl named Irene was inspired by the song, "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen", written by Irving Berlin, and recorded in 1942 by Kenny Baker (who appeared in this movie). The opening lyrics of the song are, "I left my heart at the Stage Door Canteen / I left it there with a girl named Irene." See more »

Quotes

Eileen Burke: Say, how do you look out of uniform?
Dakota Smith: Pretty naked!
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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

In many public domain prints, the scene involving Sam Jaffe and some of our Russian allies is missing (victim of Cold War re-editing of historical fact), as is the scene with Johnny Roventini (no longer "politically correct" in this cancer-conscious age). See more »


Soundtracks

Quick Sands
(1943)
Music by James V. Monaco
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played by Count Basie and His Orchestra (credited as Count Basie Orchestra)
Sung by Ethel Waters (uncredited)
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User Reviews

mixed bag of period performance and quick cameos
21 July 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

In wartime, a group of soldiers stop off at a canteen before they are posted to heaven knows where. In this canteen they are entertained and served by luminaries from stage and screen (so much fun for the viewer spotting big names in little roles). The soldiers (California, Dakota, and Tex) are the lynchpins who carry the paper-thin story around delightful performances from the likes of Ethel Merman, Ray Bolger, Gracie Fields, Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee, Kay Kyser, Xavier Cugat, and Count Basie.

Blink and you might miss (a few names for a taster) Tallulah Bankhead, Ina Claire, Judith Anderson, Aline MacMahon, Katherine Cornell, the Lunts, George Jessel, Ed Wynn, Ralph Bellamy, George Raft, May Whitty, Harpo Marx, Ned Sparks, and Dorothy Fields. You'll remember Katharine Hepburn as she goes all patriotic at the end of the movie.

Is it a good film? Probably not, but it is certainly historically interesting and probably has the most big names in one movie. The three soldier boys stand for all their compatriots who went to war'during both that conflict and the ones which followed. They aren't glorified, but are simply depicted as young lads who like dancing with girls and being treated with courtesy. We may never know what happens to California, Dakota, and Tex (and millions like them) but 'Stage Door Canteen' gives you a bit of their lives, and a snapshot of the wartime canteen.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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