review for Stage Door on AllMovie

Stage Door (1937)
by Richard Gilliam review

Stage Door is notable for its predominantly female cast, predating George Cukor's The Women by two years. Adapted from the Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman stage hit, the sparkling dialogue comes at the audience rapid-fire as each stellar performer steps forward. The film shifts easily between comedy and drama, with Ginger Rogers in particular showcasing her versatility. Director Gregory La Cava successfully pulls together a strong-willed cast that includes Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, and Ann Miller. He puts the boarding house setting to good use, keeping the interplay brisk and the story lines moving quickly. Ironically, the film's only Oscar nomination for acting went to the lesser-known Andrea Leeds, who, unlike her character in the movie, would later marry a rich man and retire from the screen. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.