Stage Door. 1937. USA. Directed by Gregory La Cava. 92 min.
Screenplay by Morrie Ryskind, Anthony Veiller, from a play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman. With Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Lucille Ball. Director La Cava radically refashioned the Ferber-Kaufman play, set in a theatrical boarding house around the corner from MoMA, into a showcase for the adverse talents of RKO’s two reigning divas of the late 1930s. Katharine Hepburn is the upperclass Midwesterner come to conquer New York’s dramatic world; Rogers is her roommate, a seen-it-all nightclub performer considering an arrangement with producer Adolphe Menjou to further her career. Substantially improvised on the spot, Stage Door anticipates Robert Altman with its layered dialogue and ensemble casting.