Stage Door Canteen

Stage Door Canteen

Director: Frank Borzage

Cast: Cheryl Walker, William Terry, Marjorie Riordan

     
 

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This 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…  See more details below

Overview

This 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 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. The six big bands that appear and perform in the film are those of Kay Kyser, Count Basie, Xavier Cugat, Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman and Freddie Martin.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2012
UPC:
0874757014197
Original Release:
1943
Source:
American Pop Classic
Time:
2:11:00
Sales rank:
6,913

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cheryl Walker Eileen
William Terry Ed "Dakota" Smith
Marjorie Riordan Jean Rule
Lon McCallister "California"
Margaret Early Ella Sue
Michael Allen Harrison "Texas"
Dorothea Kent Mamie
Fred Brady "Jersey" Wallace
Marion Shockley Lillian
Pat O'Moore The Australian
Judith Anderson Herself
Kenny Baker Actor
Tallulah Bankhead Guest
Ralph Bellamy Guest
Edgar Bergen Actor
Ray Bolger Actor
Ina Claire Actor
Katharine Cornell Actor
Jane Cowl Actor
Virginia Field Actor
Gracie Fields Guest
Lynn Fontanne Actor
Virginia Grey Actor
Helen Hayes Actor
Katharine Hepburn Herself
Hugh Herbert Actor
Jean Hersholt Actor
Sam Jaffe Actor
Allen Jenkins Actor
George Jessel Actor
Otto Kruger Actor
Gypsy Rose Lee Actor
Alfred Lunt Actor
Aline MacMahon Actor
Elsa Maxwell Actor
Harpo Marx Actor
Yehudi Menuhin Actor
Ethel Merman Actor
Ralph Morgan Actor
Alan Mowbray Actor
Paul Muni Guest
Merle Oberon Guest
George Raft Dishwasher
Lanny Ross Actor
Selena Royle Actor
Martha Scott Actor
Cornelia Otis Skinner Actor
Ned Sparks Actor
Bill Stern Actor
Ethel Waters Actor
Arleen Whelan Actor
May Whitty Actor
Ed Wynn Guest Bit
Elliott Nugent Actor
Guy Lombardo & Orchestra Actor
Henry Armetta Actor
Count Basie and His Orchestra Actor
Helen Broderick Actor
Lloyd Corrigan Actor
Xavier Cugat Actor
Jane Darwell Actor
William Demarest Actor
Dorothy Fields Actor
Arlene Francis Actor
Billy Gilbert Actor
Lucille Gleason Actor
Benny Goodman Actor
Vera Gordon Actor
Mack Gray Waiter
Roscoe Karns Actor
Tom Kennedy Actor
June Lang Actor
Betty Lawford Actor
Gertrude Lawrence Actor
Peggy Lee Actor
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra Actor
Dummy: Charlie McCarthy Actor
Franklin Pangborn Actor
Helen Parrish Actor
Brock Pemberton Actor
Francis Pierlot Actor
Lina Romay Actor
Johnny Weissmuller Actor
Kay Kyser Actor
Sunset Carson "Texas"
Ruth Roman Bit Part

Technical Credits
Frank Borzage Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Clem Beauchamp Production Designer
Albert Dano Costumes/Costume Designer
Delmer Daves Screenwriter
Victor A. Gangelin Set Decoration/Design
Harry Horner Production Designer
Hal Kern Editor
Sol Lesser Producer
James V. Monaco Score Composer
Hans Peters Art Director
Freddie Rich Score Composer
Harry J. Wild Cinematographer

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