STAGE DOOR

(1937)
With Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds, Gail Patrick, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Eve Arden, Jack Carson, Franklin Pangborn, Grady Sutton
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

     A comic melodrama set in a New York boarding house for young aspiring actresses, STAGE DOOR was loosely adapted from the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber into a vehicle for both Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.  Hepburn plays an upper-crust type, resented by the other girls for having a wealthy father who buys her a career; Rogers is her sassy roommate with a sugar daddy (Adolphe Menjou) who might do the same for her.  The two leads are a perfect match of opposites, with a sharp chemistry that makes their verbal sparring matches among the film's comic highlights.  The film abounds with well-rounded supporting characters, especially Lucille Ball and Eve Arden as the resident wisecrackers.  In addition to its excellence as a film, STAGE DOOR is also notable for offering an insightful look at the social lives and customs of young women, circa 1937.  It's the film where Kate Hepburn says "The calla lilies are in bloom again," a catchphrase later appropriated by Bugs Bunny. 4½ - JL

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