Stage Door Canteen

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 ...
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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: 1/24/2012
  • UPC: 874757014197
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Source: American Pop Classic
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:11:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 16,479

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
Count Basie and His Orchestra
Helen Broderick
Lloyd Corrigan
Xavier Cugat
Jane Darwell
William Demarest
Dorothy Fields
Arlene Francis
Billy Gilbert
Lucille Gleason
Benny Goodman
Vera Gordon
Mack Gray Waiter
Roscoe Karns
Tom Kennedy
June Lang
Betty Lawford
Gertrude Lawrence
Peggy Lee
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
Dummy: Charlie McCarthy
Franklin Pangborn
Helen Parrish
Brock Pemberton
Francis Pierlot
Lina Romay
Johnny Weissmuller
Kay Kyser
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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