Stage Door Canteen

Overview

Frank Borzage's Stage Door Canteen is a sadly underrated movie that hasn't been treated kindly by history. It was never a "classic" by virtue of its style or content, but it was unique in its time -- and a movie well worth seeing -- for its capturing of that mood and spirit which, in the wake of September 11, 2001, seem special and all the more relevant. The film's copyright lapsed in 1971, and even before that, it had been reissued in prints running 93 minutes, which occasionally turned up on various cable ...
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DVD New 014381945829 NEW/SEALED & Perfect 4 Gift Giving-ADD TO CART ~~~ and Make Someone's Day a Special One: -)

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Overview

Frank Borzage's Stage Door Canteen is a sadly underrated movie that hasn't been treated kindly by history. It was never a "classic" by virtue of its style or content, but it was unique in its time -- and a movie well worth seeing -- for its capturing of that mood and spirit which, in the wake of September 11, 2001, seem special and all the more relevant. The film's copyright lapsed in 1971, and even before that, it had been reissued in prints running 93 minutes, which occasionally turned up on various cable channels and unauthorized videocassettes. The Hal Roach DVD, distributed by Image Entertainment, is the first good-quality presentation that the movie has had in many years, running circles around the old Image Entertainment laserdisc edition in both sound and picture quality. It isn't perfect, to be sure -- although reasonably sharp and possessing good contrast even in the less well-lit shots, it still has a softer picture than a preservation-quality print or negative would generate in this medium; there's nothing lacking, and overlooking the occasional horizontal scratches in the print, the closest thing to a major flaw is the occasional missing frame and slightly choppy edits. Considering the care that did go into the video transfer, and the robust sound present on the audio track, the lack of attention to the disc's programming is a crying shame. The producers could have chapter-encoded each featured act -- there are dozens in the movie, ranging from comic Ed Wynn and singer Gracie Fields to acting legend Katharine Cornell and violinist Yehudi Menuhin -- but, instead, have used only eight chapters for the entire film, which seems a wasted opportunity; the movie has intrinsic value, but fully a third of the value in owning it is a chance to glimpse performers who, in many instances, left few (if any) other film records of their work. What's more, many of those clips are of more than historical interest; Kay Kyser and His Band put on a pretty entertaining and downright swinging show, and performers such as Ethel Merman and Count Basie and his band aren't to be missed in any film clips. The dramatic side of the movie also has its value, although that's a little less obvious; it might be on the sappy, romanticized side, but the portrayals of the men and women, and their romances, do reflect how folks saw themselves in 1943. At a 20-dollar list price, it's several kinds of bargain.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/26/2002
  • UPC: 014381945829
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 2:15:00
  • Format: DVD

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
Tallulah Bankhead Guest
Ralph Bellamy Guest
Edgar Bergen
Ray Bolger
Ina Claire
Katharine Cornell
Jane Cowl
Virginia Field
Dame Gracie Fields Guest
Lynn Fontanne
Virginia Grey
Helen Hayes
Katharine Hepburn Herself
Hugh Herbert
Jean Hersholt
Sam Jaffe
Allen Jenkins
George Jessel
Otto Kruger
Gypsy Rose Lee
Alfred Lunt
Aline MacMahon
Elsa Maxwell
Harpo Marx
Yehudi Menuhin
Ethel Merman
Ralph Morgan
Alan Mowbray
Paul Muni Guest
Merle Oberon Guest
George Raft Dishwasher
Lanny Ross
Selena Royle
Martha Scott
Cornelia Otis Skinner
Ned Sparks
Bill Stern
Ethel Waters
Arleen Whelan
Dame May Whitty
Ed Wynn Guest Bit
Elliott Nugent
Guy Lombardo & Orchestra
Henry Armetta
Helen Broderick
Sunset Carson "Texas"
Lloyd Corrigan
Count Basie and His Orchestra
Xavier Cugat
Jane Darwell
William Demarest
Dorothy Fields
Arlene Francis
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
Billy Gilbert
Lucille Gleason
Benny Goodman
Vera Gordon
Mack Gray Waiter
Roscoe Karns
Tom Kennedy
Kay Kyser
June Lang
Betty Lawford
Gertrude Lawrence
Peggy Lee
Dummy: Charlie McCarthy
Franklin Pangborn
Helen Parrish
Brock Pemberton
Francis Pierlot
Ruth Roman Bit Part
Lina Romay
Johnny Weissmuller
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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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Play Movie [20:52]
2. Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy [12:02]
3. Kay Kyser and His Orchestra [23:02]
4. Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra [11:38]
5. Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians [15:57]
6. Count Basie and His Orchestra [11:34]
7. Freddy Martin and His Orchestra [9:35]
8. Benny Goodman and His Orchestra [25:54]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Begin Feature
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