Classic Film Guide

Stage Door (1937)

Katharine Hepburn is the daughter of a wealthy wheat baron (Samuel Hinds) that wants to make it as an actress, anonymously. She begins by living in a boarding house with other "starving" actresses including Ginger Rogers, Eve Arden, Ann Miller, Gail Patrick, Lucille Ball, Constance Collier, and Andrea Leeds, who received her only Academy recognition with a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, among others. Adolphe Menjou is the theater producer, a role he frequently played. Lots of snappy dialogue between the girls who are both friends and rivals for the few and far between parts. Jack Carson appears as a date for Rogers early in the film, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Director Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey (1936)) received his second and last Oscar nomination, and screenplay writers Morrie Ryskind and Anthony Veiller were also nominated (each received two, unrewarded nominations in their career). Franklin Pangborn is among the many other, uncredited, actors who appear in this essential drama.

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