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Stage Door

Stage Door (1937) starring Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Eve Arden

Plot synopsis of Stage Door

Stage Door - Ginger Rogers, Lucille BallTerry Randall (Katherine Hepburn), rich society beauty, has decided to see if she can break into the Broadway theatre scene without her family connections. She goes to live in a theatrical boarding house and finds her life caught up with those of the other inmates and the ever-present disappointment that theatrical hopefuls must live with. Her smart-mouth roommate, Jean (Ginger Rogers), is approached by a powerful producer for more than just a role. And Terry’s father has decided to give her career the shove by backing a production for her to star in, in which she’s sure to flop. But his machinations hurt more than just Terry.

Stage Door, starring Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann MillerEditorial Review of Stage Door, courtesy of Amazon.com essential video

This one’s all about the ladies. In this absolutely terrific 1937 gem, a Manhattan boardinghouse for aspiring actresses houses an amazing roster of golden-era performers–some of whom, like their characters, were just breaking in. It’s hard to say who’s in best form here: Katharine Hepburn in blueblood mode, Ginger Rogers streetwise, Andrea Leeds suffering, Lucille Ball and Ann Miller impossibly young, and Eve Arden being, well, splendidly Eve Ardenish. The sassy comedy and sober life lessons are wonderfully mixed by the underrated director Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey), who captures the brashness of ‘30s female chatter in a much pleasanter way than the more famous The Women. Hepburn’s sublime attempts to wrestle with the line about calla lilies being in bloom will make you smile long after the movie’s over. —Robert Horton

Funny movie quotes from Stage Door (1937)

 


Terry Randall (Katherine Hepburn): The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.


Terry Randall (Katherine Hepburn): The person you should be applauding died a few hours ago. I hope that wherever she is she knows and understands and forgives.


Bill: One of the best press campaigns…
[Offers Jean cigaret]
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): No thanks. Gave it up when I was seven.
Bill: Bright girl. Busy tonight?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): Yes.
[Following routine lines omitted]
Bill: Well, you haven’t given up eating, have you?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): It isn’t that. It’s – just that I think we hadn’t better see each other for a while.
Bill: Why?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): I just think it’s better, that’s all.
Bill: [long pause] O-h-h-h.
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): Why do you say “o-h-h-h” like that?
Bill: Well, how would you say it?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): You make it sound like it meant something else.
Bill: Well, does it?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): Whatever I do is my own business.
Annie: Are you coming or aren’t you?
Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): Oh shut up.
Bill: Did you eat something sour for lunch today?

 

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