Stage Door Canteen movie
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  • I loved seeing Helen Hayes greeting soldiers

    • by Orrymain

      all reviews
      Stage Door Canteen, a 1943 wartime motion picture, was a real place in New York City. This movie is chalk full of big time stars of the day. Close your eyes for a second and you might miss Judith Anderson, Tallulah Bankhead, Ray Bolger, or any one of dozens of other actors playing themselves.

      The Canteen was a

      place where soldiers went on leave or before heading out in World War II. In fact, this movie was made almost as a charity event, with a good portion of the returns going to the effort. That’s why it’s so packed with celebrities.

      I loved seeing Helen Hayes greeting soldiers. I almost didn’t recognize her since I’m used to seeing her in older roles. Katherine Hepburn was powerful in her part toward the end of the movie. The runaway scene stealer, though, was Katherine Cornell. She had a really nice, poignant bit with a young man in the buffet line. They recited a scene from Romeo and Juliet. It was powerful.

      • Stage Door Canteen movie
      For Cornell, considered the first lady of the theater during this time, this was her only motion picture.

      This movie is full of great entertainment to go along with the poignancy. When a Marine unit is ordered to leave and report for their duty, I almost cried as everyone stood and began singing the Marine Hymn.

      There is romance,

      of course, between a new hostess at the canteen, Eileen played by Cheryl Walker, and a man about to ship out, Dakota performed by William Terry. This is used to convey the emotion of love and home.

      Go star gazing and Stage Door Canteen. The story is nice, but seeing the days of the day is even nicer.

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