Stage Door. 1937. USA. Directed by Gregory La Cava

From her first roles as a gum-chomping chorus girl to her later appearances as a lonely, embattled career woman, Ginger Rogers embodied the wit, strength, and indomitability of the new American breed of female professional that emerged between the wars. With no formal training as a dancer, she nevertheless became half of the most famous dance team in Hollywood, responding to Fred Astaire’s strict perfectionism with a diligence and personal warmth that complemented his sometimes chilly remove. This eight-week overview of Rogers’s long career, drawn entirely from 35mm prints in MoMA’s archives, begins in media res with two of her classic partnerings with Astaire, Top Hat and Follow the Fleet, then branches out to include one of her most celebrated dramatic performances, in Stage Door, followed by the rarely seen romantic comedy Vivacious Lady.

Organized by Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, Department of Film. Thanks to Ashley Swinnerton.

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