Stage Door - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stage Door Reviews

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February 13, 2016
So much sass and attitude in the beginning but then it became too melodramatic with all that show business stuff. I mean fighting for that ugly ass Powell's attention? Also, Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball stole the show.
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2015
While watching this film I couldn't help but think about the possibility of having this remade in today's Hollywood. Women's empowerment and lack of quality roles in Hollywood is at an all time high in terms of it being at the center of discussions, so I feel like it's the perfect time. Plus, Stage Door has a bevy of strong female roles and plenty of material that can easily be translated to modern day or just kept in the 30's. Regardless, I would love to see a new rendition.

An ensemble cast including Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Andrea Leeds, and Lucille Ball play a bunch of aspiring actresses at a boardinghouse just waiting for the perfect role. Plenty of films have been made about broken dreams in Hollywood, and I think this film does a good job balancing the greatness and the sadness that being an up and coming actress can bring. But I do think that the film does lose focus at times. You never get a sense as to who the story is about. The film's twists and turns constantly change your view on who the central character to the story is. The answer is that it's about all of them, but I would have liked to have seen even more comradery between the girls instead of focusing on the three main leads.

If it is eventually remade, I feel as though they will have to update the Anthony Powell character. He comes off really creepy and almost at the point of intentions of rape at some points in the film. That was the one part of the film I thought could have been written better. So in all, I have to like this film because this is the role that got Katharine Hepburn cast in Bringing Up Baby, one of my favorite films of all time. And Stage Door is a really solid film that shows the horrors but also the greatness that Hollywood can present people.



+Both sides of Hollywood

-Creepy Powell character

March 13, 2015
Top notch cast, great movie. Ginger Rogers is the heart of this film and plays off Kate Hepburn marvelously.
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2014
This early Hepburn piece is charming but far too corny to be a great film.
February 24, 2014
A little too stagey for me. Script[t felt "well-crafted" rather than real. Too much artificial sentimentality for my tastes. Plenty of wise-cracking though, and Ginger is always wonderful.
½ July 13, 2013
High melodrama, but I was happily along for the ride. Lots of wonderful stars to enjoy, including a baby faced Ann Miller. A concise, engaging plot. Definitely a rewatchable movie for me.
January 16, 2013
Quality film that bridges the gap between serious dramatic fare and the fast-talking screwball comedy; what a unique hybrid! Lucille Ball steals the show any time she's on screen and this may be the most likeable Katharine Hepburn has ever been.
December 14, 2012
Stage Door is a great film, fast paced, witty, touching, clever, and starring a fantastic cast. Few films today could touch the dialogue and repartee between characters.
December 7, 2012
Would like to see at some stage.
½ November 9, 2012
Two stars for Hepburn alone. Most of the time was taken up by the girls bickering to put each other, and the world in general, down. I did not find this amusing and i took my attention away from the story too much.
August 24, 2012
Very cozy comedy drama about young women in a NYC boarding house hoping to make it on Broadway. Ginger Rogers is queen of the wisecracks and Katharine Hepburn is the rich girl slumming it to have a more authentic experience. The 1930s seem so different from today -- I can't even imagine that a place like the Footlights Club (boarding house) still exists. However, David Lynch does use Ann Miller (only 14 years old here) perfectly in Mulholland Dr, renting out cottages to Hollywood hopefuls, and thereby echoing the seamier side of Stage Door (where Adolphe Menjou's producer/exploiter is almost played for laughs).
August 12, 2012
the cast are the fuel that mkes this show biz insider pic go.
May 12, 2012
Though it hasn't exactly aged well, this is still pretty unconventional for the time.
½ April 29, 2012
the best part of "stage door" is that anytime someone is talking to katharine hepburn or ginger rogers' characters, they respond in the most dry and sarcastic way possible. it's a very quick witted film, and enjoyable mostly for that reason.
April 19, 2012
doesnt seem interesting
½ April 7, 2012
One of my favorite old movies!
January 2, 2012
Timeless backstage story with good solid performances from Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Adolph Menjou. Supporting cast is outstanding, including Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Andrea Leeds, Gail Patrick and a very young Ann Miller.
December 14, 2011
Classic girl power. Nice stage story about the stage.
December 12, 2011
This film was a surprise, expecting the usual Hollywood smaltz, showbiz 1930's cliches, I put it on to snooze off to as background, but was woken up by its strange modernity, although made in 1937, set in a 'theatrical boarding house' for young ladies who come to NY to make it in theatre. It is packed full of fast talking 'wise cracks' nearly all of which are really sometimes LOL funny and again oddly modern. The girls struggle in a recession to eat, go on dates with unsuitable men in order to get dinner bought, nick each others clothes, do the audition rounds, and somehow hold on till they get a break. The material has a timeless quality whilst being innocent and dated but also seems relevant to the current recession. There is a chic flick element to it, in showing how they, despite competition and feuds, support one another and maintain friendships. It does lurch into into melodrama at one point but mostly retains a witty realism. Ginger Rogers is sparkling and funny really in her element before becoming known as Astaire's sidekick, there is a very young Lucille Ball, ditto Ann Miller. Andrea Leeds personifies the agony of an actress who can no longer get work and who has a role she has been chasing 'stolen' from her. I'm not a great Hepburn fan, but can see how she was a feminist prototype and excels at haughty. A film like this with this many strong and funny and glamorous female roles would not be made today. The universal spirit of the theatre is conveyed in a goose-bump raising speechette where Catherine Collier (ex-actress) talks the new actress (Katherine Hepburn) into carrying on to her opening night despite a tragic death of a friend by reminding her 'there are 50 living people dependent on you, the ushers, the property men, the old women who clean out the theatre, each one of them has a right to demand that you give the best performance that you can, that's the tradition of the theatre".
½ November 2, 2011
Stage Door follows the trials and tribulations of a group of aspiring actresses living together in a theatrical boarding house. The overwhelmingly female cast is more ensemble than star-led despite the joint top-billing of Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn, and there are no weak links in this superb examination of life behind the curtain. Hepburn plays Terry Randall, a society girl who aspires to become an actress much to her father's dismay. Her class immediately provokes the scorn of the other girls, in particular her roommate Jean (Rogers), who believes her to be slumming it, supported by a sugar daddy where the rest of the girls struggle to earn enough money to eat. Amongst the other girls are early performances from the young Lucille Ball and Ann Miller (only 14 at the time), and little-known Andrea Leeds as Kay.

Kay is the true heart of this story. In amongst the witty banter and spiky raillery between Terry and Jean, there is real drama and pain in her story. Stage Door is great as a comedy-drama, it's funny and clever, but it's ultimately elevated and memorable because it includes a moment of real tragedy. The transition in the final act to almost pure drama is impressively handled and ultimately heart-wrenching.
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