Stage Door

This isn’t the first time I review a movie.  But why should a movie be on a site concerned with studying behavior?

Movies are an art form.  The best art illuminates our humanity.  And the foundation of our humanity is how we behave.  Hence, the best movies are about our behavior.

Take this 1937 film called Stage Door.  It’s absolutely brilliant.  And in today’s #MeToo climate, it gains relevance.

The antagonist is a slimy producer who likes to “interview” many an upcoming starlet.  His name might as well be Harvey.  The young actresses are starving, yet they know what they may have to do in order to eat.  The allusions to their sacrifices are humorous.  But in the light of today’s revelations, they take on sinister connotations.

There’s a moment where last year’s star sacrifices herself for Katherine Hepburn.  Like Christ, Kay takes care of Katherine’s feet, gives her something to drink, and then ascends the stairs into heaven.

The film is also about the needs of the theater.  It’s about the desire of actors to be discovered.  It’s even about the trials unique to young women in a cruel industry.

More fundamentally, this movie is about the suffering an artist must endure to become a great actor.

Studying behavior does not have to be boring all the time.  There are times when studying behavior can be fun, and watching this movie is one of those times.  Please find Stage Door, watch it, and think it through.  I’d like to hear your comments.

 


PS: This is one of my favorite movies of all time, easily in the top 10.  It’s fast paced, extremely natural in feel, well directed, chock-full of raw talent and youthful exuberance.

 

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