Stage Door Canteen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stage Door Canteen Reviews

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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.
½ February 19, 2013
An exercise in unfocused overkill that, ultimately, steamrolled its good intentions under 132 grueling minutes of flag-waving hokum.
July 22, 2012
What a great glimpse into times past.
½ March 17, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2010
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.
August 17, 2010
I surprised myself by really enjoying this movie. It was great.
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.
December 20, 2008
Märkligt rörande propagandafilm från Andra världskriget, när USA redan hade gått med i kriget. Det är egentligen inte mer än en nummerrevy där soldater ser på en massa populära film- och scenstjärnor fron 40-talet, men det är gjort på ett sätt som göra t det stannar i minnet. Förfärlig dvd-överföring i den utgåva jag såg, hoppas att det finns bätre.
½ November 12, 2008
Back to the oldies for me. The acting stinks but it worth it just to see Edgar Bergan's jokes with Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, George Jessel's telephone routine, Ray Bolger (the Scarcrow from the Wizard of Oz) who is a fantastic tap dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee and, of course, Harpo along with the other big stars of the 1930's and 40's. The Big Band era music with Kay Kaiser, Guy Lombardo, Xavier Cougat, Bennie Goodman and Count Basie is great. Jehudi Menuhin plays a beautiful "Ave Maria" on the violin. Sam Jaffe also has a cameo introducing Russian soldiers (our allies) but sadly in later years was part of the Hollywood blacklist. Pure propaganda, but you have to remember the times.
September 21, 2008
It was cool seeing so many famous ppl in it.
½ May 13, 2008
Obviously more of a studio film than a Borzage film, made to lift morale during the war. But Borzage is still able to sneak his touch in here and there.
May 12, 2008
Really long, but amazing cameos. Plus, the guy who plays California is adorable.
½ May 10, 2008
My parents loved it...I liked it.
½ May 5, 2008
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.
April 15, 2008
Patriotic propaganda from an age when that was the glorious norm. Watching this today makes one long for days of innocence, when even warfare could seem noble and positive. It??s odd to long for such a thing??but there it is. The entertainment is a who??s who of the WW II era. I wished Harpo's appearance included some harp playing--he was run off too soon. Loved seeing an extended segment with Edgar Bergen / Charlie McCarthy / Mortimer Snerd! Edgar Bergen was soooo young and quite the brilliant comedian/ performer. Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, also provides a wonderful moment of tap dancing and comedy. The music is amazing, and the romance stories are engaging and at times bittersweet. Really what you get here is an entertainment variety show with a loose framing narrative, giving you the feel of a few evenings in a USO canteen. The movie also reminds us of our positive attitudes toward Russians and Chinese allies at this point in our history.
October 22, 2007
This movie is crazy cool... even tho its chocked full of propaganda and some pretty bad acting... in a way its like a documentary of the USO canteens during the war and you get to see some amazing cameos!
July 18, 2007
Great movie with just about every star you could want to see from the 40's!
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.
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