Stage Door

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Stage Door (1937) is a RKO film, adapted from the play by the same name, that tells the story of several would-be actresses who live together in a boarding house at 158 West 58th Street in New York City. The film stars Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Andrea Leeds, Samuel S. Hinds and Lucille Ball. Eve Arden and Ann Miller, who became notable in later films, play minor characters.

The film was adapted by Morrie Ryskind and Anthony Veiller from the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, but the play's storyline and the characters' names were almost completely changed for the movie, so much so in fact that Kaufman joked the film should be called "Screen Door".

Stage Door was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Leeds was nominated as Best Supporting Actress.

Contents

Plot

Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) moves into the Footlights Club,[1] 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.

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