Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stage Door (1937)

Director: Gregory La Cava

Writers: Morrie Ryskind, Anthony Veiller, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman

Composer: Roy Webb

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Andrea Leeds, Samuel S. Hinds, Lucille Ball, Franklin Pangborn, Ann Miller

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Brilliant In Cast And Story

Plot: 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.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably.

I really miss the old days of the 30s (as if I were there or something) when a lot of movies had machine gun fast delivery and the quips flew like bullets on St. Valentine's Day.  This picture opens with a bang and the dialogue doesn't let up for a half hour.  I was almost exhausted if I hadn't been so entertained.  Not only is the dialogue and pacing marvelous, the performances sparkle.  The roomful of talented actresses work their lines (and the room) like it's as natural as breathing. They're an awful lot of fun.  And how about that emotional home run delivered by Terry (Hepburn) near the end?  Hokey smokes!  That speech had me all teared-up something fierce.  Wow!  What a great flick!  The Warner Bros. DVD has a few extras including a musical short, UPS AND DOWNS (1937), the theatrical trailer and the 1939 broadcast of this film as performed by Ginger Rogers and Rosalind Russell. 

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