Friday, February 26, 2010
STAGE DOOR (1937).
Stage Door (1937). Adapted from the play by the same name. Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Constance Collier, Andrea Leeds, Samuel S. Hinds, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Ann Miller.
When Terry Randall, an aspiring actress arrives at the Footlights Club, she is greeted by a group of actresses and chorus girls. Terry's uppity manner immediately alienates her from her roommates.
Terry Randall: I see that, in addition to your other charms, you have that insolence generated by an inferior upbringing.
Jean Maitland: Hmm! Fancy clothes, fancy language and everything!
Terry Randall: Unfortunately, I learned to speak English correctly.
Jean Maitland: That won't be of much use to you here. We all talk pig Latin.
Because of her relationship with producer Anthony Powell, known womanizer, Jean also dislikes room mate, Linda Shaw.
Loved by all is Kay Hamilton, a actress who had done very well so far and has since been unable to find work.
Jean is spotted during a dance rehearsal by Powell, who arranges an audition for her and her partner Annie at a nightclub.
Later, Kay faints in Powell's office when she learns that the producer has refused to see her. Angry, Terry bursts into Powell's office and gives him what for, for his callous behavior. Powell dismisses Terry, but when he is later approached by a potential backer who has made casting Terry a part of his offer, agrees to star her in his next play, Enchanted April.
Powell then invites Jean to dine with him and to spite Linda, Jean accepts. Powell shows Jean, pictures of his young son and estranged wife and plays a "poor little me" routine to win her over. When Jean becomes drunk, Powell sends her home, where Terry helps her to bed.
Later, Powell tells Terry that he wants her to star in Enchanted April. Kay is stunned to learn that Terry has been cast in the role and wishes her room mate's good luck. In spite of Terry's bad performance during rehearsal, Powell keeps her in the show. What will it take to turn Terry's out look on life?
A wonderful film, with great dialogue. The real treat for viewers in this film, is the chance to see several popular young actresses early in their careers.
Ann Miller was only 14 years old when she performed in this film. She had lied about her age and produced a fake birth certificate. Miller was tall and beautiful at age 14 that she pulled it off. It is quite impressive to see her holding her own while dancing with Ginger Rogers, by then the dance partner of Fred Astaire.