Stage Door

Infobox Film | name = Stage Door

caption = Stage Door theatrical poster
director = Gregory La Cava
producer = Pandro S. Berman
writer = Edna Ferber (play)
George S. Kaufman (play)
Morrie Ryskind
Anthony Veiller
starring = Katharine Hepburn
Ginger Rogers
Adolphe Menjou
Gail Patrick
Constance Collier
Andrea Leeds
Samuel S. Hinds
Lucille Ball
Franklin Pangborn
music =
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = RKO Radio Pictures
released = October 8, 1937 (USA)
runtime = 92 min.
language = English
budget =
imdb_id = 0029604

"Stage Door" (1937) is a RKO film, adapted from the play by the same name, that tells the story of several would-be actresses who live together in a boarding house at 158 West 58th Street in New York City. The film stars Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Andrea Leeds, Samuel S. Hinds and Lucille Ball. Eve Arden and Ann Miller, who became notable in later films, play minor characters.

The film was adapted by Morrie Ryskind and Anthony Veiller from the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, but the play's storyline and the characters' names were almost completely changed for the movie, so much so in fact that Kaufman joked the film should be called "Screen Door".

Kaufman once lived in the 158 West 58th building (which is identified in a line in the movie when the police respond to Kay Hamilton's suicide). [George S. Kaufman; an intimate portrait by Howard Teichmann New York, Atheneum, 1972 ISBN 400765] It is less than two blocks from Broadway. It is now the Park Savoy Hotel and for many years was considered a single room occupancy hotel. [ [ ADJUNCT GARAGES IRK CITY PLANNERS; Loophole in Zoning Permits All Comers to Use Space - New York Times - January 24, 1965] ]

The writers listened to the young actresses talking off set during rehearsals and incorporated their style of talking into the film, which was directed by Gregory La Cava.

"Stage Door" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Leeds was nominated as Best Supporting Actress.


Hepburn plays Terry Randall, a young debutante who wants to be an actress. She moves into The Footlights Club, a theatrical rooming house, while trying to make it and rooms with a flippant, cynical dancer, Jean Maitland (Rogers). When producer Anthony Powell (Menjou) makes a play for Jean, Terry breaks up the situation. Terry is given the lead in Powell's new play (her father is working behind the scenes), which breaks the heart of Kaye Hamilton (Leeds), an aspiring actress who had been unable to land any roles and who was hoping that this would be her big break. The totally inexperienced Terry is horribly bad during rehearsals, but on opening night Kaye commits suicide and an emotional Terry gives a heartfelt performance. Terry's father, who had pulled strings toe role, hoping that the experience would disillusion her and that her stage career would go nowhere, has no choice but to accept the fact that she is now a star.

This is the film in which Hepburn delivers the famous lines: "The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower--suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day; now I place them here in memory of something that has died." When we first hear Terry deliver these lines she is laughably inept, but then on opening night she delivers the same lines with emotional devastation.

Main cast and characters

Other cast members

*Franklin Pangborn as Harcourt
*William Corson as Bill
*Pierre Watkin as Richard Carmichael
*Grady Sutton as 'Butch'
*Frank Reicher as Stage Director
*Jack Carson as Milbank
*Phyllis Kennedy as Hattie
*Eve Arden as Eve
*Ann Miller as Annie
*Huntley Gordon as Cast of Stage Play

imilarities to the play

The movie has almost nothing to do with the play, except in a few character names, such as Kaye Hamilton, Jean Maitland, and Terry Randall, Linda Shaw, and Judith Canfield.

In the play, Terry Randall is from a rural family whose father is a country doctor, and Jean Maitland is actually a shallow girl who becomes a movie star.

Kaye Hamilton does commit suicide, but for completely different reasons and not on an opening night.


* Not only did the writer and La Cava listen to the actresses' jokes and small talk during rehearsals, La Cava allowed the actresses to ad lib during filming.
* This is the film where Katherine Hepburn met Constance Collier, who became her great friend and actually did coach Hepburn. They remained great friends until Collier's death.
* After Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds) commits suicide, there's a clip of Hamilton's grave as part of the collage of the success of the play, which was edited out on all TV showings, as well was missing from the VHS video. It was restored for the DVD and now is included in the version shown on Turner Classic Movies.

External links


* The Internet Broadway Database
* Dooley, Roger "From Scarface to Scarlett: American Films in the Thirties"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stage door — Stage Stage (st[=a]j), n. [OF. estage, F. [ e]tage, (assumed) LL. staticum, from L. stare to stand. See {Stand}, and cf. {Static}.] 1. A floor or story of a house. [Obs.] Wyclif. [1913 Webster] 2. An elevated platform on which an orator may speak …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stage door — stage doors N COUNT: usu the N in sing The stage door of a theatre is the entrance used by actors and actresses and by employees of the theatre …   English dictionary

  • stage door — n. an outside door leading to the backstage part of a theater, used by actors, production staff, etc …   English World dictionary

  • stage door — n [C usually singular] the entrance to a theatre used by actors and theatre workers …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • stage door — noun count the entrance to a theater for actors and other people who work there …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • stage door — ► NOUN ▪ an actors and workmen s entrance from the street to the backstage area of a theatre …   English terms dictionary

  • stage door — noun an entrance to the backstage area of theater; used by performers and other theater personnel (Freq. 2) • Hypernyms: ↑entrance, ↑entranceway, ↑entryway, ↑entry, ↑entree * * * noun : an entrance to a theater reserved for actors and stage… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stage Door — Pension d artistes Pension d artistes (Stage door) est un film américain réalisé par Gregory La Cava et sorti en 1937 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • stage door — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms stage door : singular stage door plural stage doors theatre the entrance to a theatre for actors and other people who work there …   English dictionary

  • stage door — a door at the back or side of a theater, used by performers and theater personnel. [1770 80] * * * …   Universalium

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