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Stage Door (1937)

aka Stage Door

Directed By: 
Details: 92 mins · English


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Small Terry Randall
Small Jean Maitland
Small Anthony Powell
Small Judith
Small Annie
Small Eve
Small Mr. Milbanks
Small Linda Shaw
Small Miss Luther
Small Henry Sims
No_movie_poster Butch
Small Carmichael
No_movie_poster Harcourt
No_movie_poster Kay Hamilton
Small Stage Director


No_movie_poster Gregory La Cava Director
No_movie_poster Pandro S. Berman Production
No_movie_poster Morrie Ryskind Writer
No_movie_poster Anthony Veiller Writer
No_movie_poster George S. Kaufman Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Edna Ferber Story Contributor
No_movie_poster William Hamilton Editing


Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) moves into the Footlights Club, a theatrical rooming house in New York. Her polished manners and superior attitude make her no friends among the rest of the aspiring actresses living there, particularly her new roommate, flippant, cynical dancer Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers). From Terry's expensive clothing and her photograph of her elderly grandfather, Jean assumes she has obtained the former from her sugar daddy, just as fellow resident Linda Shaw (Gail Patrick) has from her relationship with influential theatrical producer Anthony Powell (Adolphe Menjou). In truth however, Terry comes from a very wealthy, upper class, Midwest family. Over the strong objections of her father, Henry Sims (Samuel S. Hinds), she is determined to try to fulfill her dreams on her own. In the boarding house, Terry's only supporter is aging actress Catherine Luther (Constance Collier), who appoints herself Terry's mentor.

When Powell sees Jean dancing, he decides to dump Linda. He arranges for Jean and her partner Annie (Ann Miller) to get hired for the floor show of a nightclub he partly owns. He then starts dating Jean, who, despite her initial reluctance, starts falling for the man.

Meanwhile, well-liked Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds) had a great success and rave reviews in a play the year before, but has had no work since, and is running out of money. She clings desperately to the hope of landing the leading role in Powell's new play, Enchanted April. She finally gets an appointment to see Powell, only to have him cancel at the last minute. She faints in the reception area, the result of malnutrition and disappointment. Seeing this, Terry barges into Powell's private office and berates him for his callousness. As a result, the other boarding house residents start to warm to the newcomer.

Terry's father secretly finances Enchanted April on condition that Terry be given the starring role, hoping she'll make a fool of herself and return home. Powell invites Terry to his penthouse to break the news. When Jean shows up unannounced, Terry sees the opportunity to save her friend from the philandering Powell. She pretends that Powell is trying to seduce her. It works. However, it makes things uncomfortable around the boarding house. In addition to Jean's loathing, Terry's landing of the plum part breaks Kay's heart.

The totally inexperienced Terry is so horribly bad during rehearsals that Powell tries desperately to get out of his contract with Sims. On opening night, after she learns that the depressed Kay has committed suicide, Terry decides she cannot go on. Catherine tells her that she must, not just for herself, but also for Kay. She does, and gives a heartfelt performance. The play is a hit, much to the chagrin of Terry's father. At her curtain call, Terry gives a speech in tribute to her dead friend and Terry and Jean are reconciled. Terry continues to have success after months in the play, but she continues to board at the Footlight Club to be near her friends.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1937-10-08 : United States of America

DVD : 2005-03-01