Greetings from VKMfanHuey!!!
Welcome to the Gingerology blog for the 1936 RKO film, Stage Door!!!
Please note the 'menu' above, which has various information regarding the film; to the right (just below the Gingerology link) there are additional links regarding the film.
Please feel free to leave a comment with any general info, links, pics, or just to say hi!
...And be sure to check out our 'main' site, Gingerology - just click on the Ginger pic to the right. There you'll find a list of ALL of Ginger Rogers' films; click on any one, and you will be directed to a 'dedicated' blog about that film (not unlike this blog).
Keep It Gingery, y'all!
Friday, May 9, 2014
...second off (...?), here's the deal: I like Katharine Hepburn...no, REALLY... just because I'm a certifiable (in every possible sense of that word) Ginger Rogers UBER-fan (i.e., Gingerologist), doesn't mean that I can't also be a fan (at least in the 'casual' sense) of Kate, even with the supposed 'rivalry' between the two (more on that later). But now, we bring you the 'review proper'...
Well, in this warbling din emerges Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers), who is in a tiff with Linda Shaw (Gail Patrick), regarding stockings... after that issue has been laid to rest, the entrance of Miss Terry Randall (Katharine Hepburn) occurs...and there is no time wasted in establishing the fact that Jean and Terry will be at odds with each other... with that in mind, they just HAVE to end up being roommates, right? Right!
...BTW, there's quite a few 'snippets' of the film available on YouTube, one of which is the aforementioned scene... it's really an interesting scene, as it leaves you questioning the distinction between script and real life... as Ginger and Kate's respective backgrounds seem to shadow those of their characters...I always kinda thought it would have been interesting if you 'reversed' the roles, and had Ginger as the 'debutante', and Kate as the 'hardscrabble girl'... but it probably just wouldn't have flown...
...so, just pour water on it, eh? A weird way to treat a mink, but...if you say so... it will be nice to know if Chester gave me a coat made of REAL varmints...
...does it have to be distilled water?
...well, I tried it, and it didn't shrink...
...but I still have my suspicions about it being real...
...cause dude kept talking about how I need to get it Scotchguarded...
Well, to keep the 'tension' between our two girls, a proverbial 'monkey wrench' is tossed into the proceedings, in the form of Big Time producer Tony Powell (played swimmingly by Adolphe Menjou), who spots Jean at a rehearsal spot and signs her on with a nightclub act...hey, it's work for Jean, which is what ALL the folks in this film are fighting for. There's lots of 'back and forth' between Tony, Terry, and Jean, and I'll leave all of those scenes for you to discover, or re-visit... there are classic moments when the girls visit Tony in his penthouse digs... Ginger plays drunk pretty convincingly considering she was a real life teetotaler... and Kate's unique 'matter-of-fact-ness' and awesomely quirky charm is also on display when she is 'sparring' with Tony.
Well, after all of this 'visitation', among other 'forces' in place, the end result is that Terry is granted the part to Tony's play over a pretty flustered Jean. The resulting rehearsal for Terry is truly funny, as Terry is oblivious to any flaws in her delivery of her lines, and questions the producer about it, to great effect. This scene also produces one of the funniest lines in the whole film (in my opinion) when, after missing her entry cue, explains to the producer that the problem is 'there are some men backstage working with ropes...please get them to stop...' ...classic! Calla lilies are the call of the day...
...and as a 'nerdy film geek' exercise, here's an observation regarding the billing, reflected by the various posters for this film:
NOW, as for the 'rivalry', or whatever you wish to call it, between our two girls here...
...now, before we go too far into 'buddy-buddy' land, there ARE a few accounts of 'tense moments' between Ginger and Kate, as recollected in Ginger's autobiography, "Ginger: My Story" - see the 'Lady Ainsley Incident' during the the screen tests for Mary Queen of Scots... and Kate's impromptu 'mink test' performed on Ginger... but, there are also a few 'niceties' documented between the two, most notably Kate's congratulations on Ginger winning the Best Actress Oscar for Kitty Foyle in 1940 - her note read, "Many, many congratulations. I am very jealous, but most happy for you. Affectionately, Kate."
...in that same vein, here's an interesting piece of Gingerbilia which was on display at the GingerCentury at Boston University back in 2011 (and it's just a bit ironic that BU, not that far from Kate's old Connecticut stomping grounds, houses all that awesome Gingerbilia, no?):
So, the final analysis regarding Kate and Ginger?
...on that front, Kate definitely didn't shy away from fighting for her rights from the studio, and ditto for Ginger, although her tolerance threshold was a bit higher, it appeared (just don't mention 'feathers' to her!).
They knew they were in a rare sorority together, as the top female leads for a major studio, sharing the same fights, adversities, frustrations, accomplishments, and triumphs few others could ever relate to. ...so yeah, I think they DID get on pretty well together... best friends? Not really... but they weren't mortal enemies, either... let's just leave it at a 'guarded yet cordial coexistence' of sorts...
As to the 'Keep Calm' sign to the right, it ultimately may be a bit of a stretch in the final analysis. No matter at this point, as the final result of the collaboration for this film is sheer awesomeness, much to our benefit! Sad that RKO didn't get them in a few more films together!
Thanks again to Margaret for the chance to review this awesome film... bottom line, if for some reason you HAVEN'T seen Stage Door yet... rectify that ASAP...it's truly a 'must-see' for ALL film fans!!! In fact, our buds over at Turner Movie Classics (TCM) are airing Stage Door this Monday (5/12) at 8:00 A.M. Eastern, so...there's a chance to catch it!
As we say over at Gingerology, ...Keep It Gingery!!! (KIG)
...and of course, there's no debate as to Kate The Great!!!