Stage Door Canteen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stage Door Canteen Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2008
The main story is mile high corn but the cast roll is amazing as are some of the performances in particular Peggy Lee and Ethel Waters. Some of the stars are a bit stiff but that's natural considering most of them where stars of the stage not screen. Still very enjoyable with an utterly charming scene between Katharine Cornell and Lon McCallister where they perform an impromptu scene from Romeo and Juliet.
½ February 19, 2013
An exercise in unfocused overkill that, ultimately, steamrolled its good intentions under 132 grueling minutes of flag-waving hokum.
½ December 2, 2009
Not much of a story going on in this movie, but it's fascinating as a sort of time capsule with some of the greatest performers of the time. A lot of the jokes and references were, I'm sure, lost on me as a 21st century viewer, but it was great fun whenever there was a celebrity I recognized. The problem is the silly insistence on plot in between. It'd have been vastly more entertaining as an all-performance show.
November 21, 2009
Rather ordinary and routine, designed to lift war morale. The appearances of many major stars from the time is a big plus, and being made in the war years makes it particularly fascinating for me, I've always been a WW2 buff.
½ November 27, 2007
This literally star-studded musical drama was largely financed by Theatre Guild, with all proceeds going to various wartime fundraising concerns. Most of the story takes place at the Stage Door Canteen, a Manhattan-based home away from home for soldiers, sailors and marines (the real-life Canteen on 44th street was too busy to lend itself to filming, thus the interiors were recreated in Hollywood). Within the walls of this non-profit establishment, servicemen are entertained by top musical, comedy and dramatic acts, and waited on by such Broadway luminaries as Lunt and Fontanne, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Cowl, Katherine Cornell, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Sam Jaffe and Paul Muni. Though the plotline-one of the Canteen servers, a girl named Eileen (Cheryl Walker) falls in love with one of the visiting soldiers (William Terry), despite the establishment's strict "no dating" rules-is merely an excuse to link together a series of specialty acts, it is superbly and touchingly directed by Frank Borzage. Not all of the film has weathered the years too well: particularly hard to take is Gracie Fields' cheery ditty about "killing Japs!" For the most part, however, the film works, and the guest performers-including bandleaders Kay Kyser, Guy Lombardo and Xavier Cugat, comedians Ray Bolger, Harpo Marx, George Jessel and Ed Wynn, and singers Ethel Waters and Kenny Baker-are in fine fettle. If nothing else, Stage Door Canteen offers the only appearance on film of the great Katherine Cornell, who offers a vignette of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Incidentally, the actor playing "Texas", Michael Harrison, later gained fame as cowboy star Sunset Carson. Originally released at 132 minutes, Stage Door Canteen is now generally available in the 93-minute TV version.
June 26, 2015
The first of the all-star WWII films that gave most of its box-office take back to its source - in this case, the famous canteen in NYC. The film runs on too long, and the plot is innocuous, but there are so many celebrities in it that it's worth seeing at least once; the song "We Musn't Say Goodbye" was nominated for an Oscar.
January 1, 2014
Captures the sweet romance of the WWII era movies that were intended to promote love of country while alleviating the anxiety and worry of the war. A star-studded cast with great performances and fun entertainment of the times.
July 22, 2012
What a great glimpse into times past.
May 22, 2006
It's OK, and i'ts nice seeing some of the luminaries of the time, but it's notm uch of a film.
May 17, 2005
Rather ordinary and routine, designed to lift war morale. The appearances of many major stars from the time is a big plus, and being made in the war years makes it particularly fascinating for me, I've always been a WW2 buff.
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