7.8/10
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76 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:

(as Gregory LaCava)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

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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:
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Henry Sims
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William Corson ...
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Stage Director
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Mr. Milbanks
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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:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pension d'artistes  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

The actress playing Mr. Powell's secretary appears to deliver her line "somebody catch her" late. The actress playing Kay did her part; she acted like someone in trouble and actually swooned, but the secretary was behind in her lines and delivered them all after Kay had already hit the floor. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Common Ground (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Sung by the women for Kay's birthday party
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Enjoyable, With a Fine Cast and Many Other Strengths
19 August 2004 | by See 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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