Stage Door Canteen

  • 1943
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical, War

In this boy-meets-canteen-girl story set in a Stage Door Canteen in Manhattan, three enlisted men on a one-day pass in New York fall in love with three young hostesses at the canteen. The story is nothing special, but the cast is: everybody who was anybody at the time, from Katharine Hepburn to Johnny Weissmuller to Gypsy Rose Lee to violinist Yehudi Menuhin,...read more

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In this boy-meets-canteen-girl story set in a Stage Door Canteen in Manhattan, three enlisted men on a one-day pass in New York fall in love with three young hostesses at the canteen. The story is nothing special, but the cast is: everybody who was anybody at the time, from Katharine

Hepburn to Johnny Weissmuller to Gypsy Rose Lee to violinist Yehudi Menuhin, makes an appearance. The story is a trifle, but you'll want to see this movie in its full 132 minutes to revel in the sight of its 65 guest stars, playing themselves and seeming to have more fun than they had playing

characters. The American Theatre Wing operated several Stage Door Canteens, with the flagship location on West 44th Street in Manhattan, and 90 percent of the movie's profits went back to the Theatre Wing to help defray expenses for the venues. In WWII, officers went to the officer's clubs, but at

the Stage Door Canteen, you had to be ranked below officer status to be admitted. Jammed from start to finish with stars, music, laughs, tears, and pure entertainment, STAGE DOOR CANTEEN casts Cheryl Walker as Eileen, a young hostess at the Canteen who falls for soldier Dakota Smith (William

Terry), while Jean Rule (Marjorie Riordan) hits it off with California (Lon McCallister) and Mamie (Dorothea Kent) goes ga-ga for Texas (Michael Harrison, aka Sunset Carson). The three soldiers meet the three women at the Canteen while on a one-day pass in New York; when their ship is delayed,

they spend another day, and another, until love is in full bloom, despite the prohibition against hostesses seeing servicemen outside of the Canteen. When the boys finally do go off to war, they know the girls will be waiting for them upon their return. That's about it for plot, but writer Delmer

Daves and director Frank Borzage insert into the story a cavalcade of musical and comedy numbers and many cameo appearances. In the cameos, Katherine Cornell makes her only film appearance doing a snippet of "Romeo and Juliet," George Jessel reprises his famous phone call to "Mama," Harpo Marx

runs around like a nut, George Raft is seen as a dishwasher, Lunt and Fontanne have an argument, and Paul Muni rehearses his new play. Fred Rich's score gained an Oscar nomination, as did Al Dubin and Jimmy Monaco for "We Mustn't Say Goodbye," sung by Lanny Ross.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In this boy-meets-canteen-girl story set in a Stage Door Canteen in Manhattan, three enlisted men on a one-day pass in New York fall in love with three young hostesses at the canteen. The story is nothing special, but the cast is: everybody who was anybody… (more)

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