Cast & Crew
Linda Lee Hill
Casting office employee Susan James and ex-actor-turned-press agent Jimmy Banks try in vain to help aspiring actress Jane Adams find work. Jimmy, who is secretly in love with Jane, is devastated when she gives up on Hollywood and returns home to Boston. To aid the hapless couple, Susan and down-and-out director George Blanck, who is trying to make a comeback, cook up a scheme to procure work for them. As part of the plan, Susan tells Jimmy that George is depressed and, when Jimmy visits him, he encourages a seemingly disinterested George to pursue his talent hunt idea, which Jimmy believes will be a big success for them both. After Jimmy leaves, George reads a telegram from film producer Sam Loring asking him to come to New York to iron out the details for his talent hunt concept. In New York, George signs a contract to develop the idea, which will allow him to personally interview all prospective talent for a new movie. While George embarks on a tour of the East Coast, Susan informs Jimmy that he deliberately stole Jimmy's idea and fled town. Susan then wires George to stay at the Boston hotel where Jane now works as a cigar stand clerk, and then leaves for New York, sending a telegram to Jimmy urging him to visit George and stand up to him. Meanwhile, reporter Walter Aldrich informs George that Jane is an actress and agrees to accompany him to the nightclubs in town. A few days later, Walter reveals to Jane that George thinks she should audition for him, but, disillusioned with Hollywood, she refuses. Susan, meanwhile, wires Jimmy to meet her in New York, informing him that George is trying to sign Jane for a screen test, while at the same time George tries to tempt Jane into following him to New York by informing her that Jimmy will be there. Convinced, Jane leaves for New York, but once she is there, George pretends to be in love with her. Just as he embraces her, Susan brings Jimmy over. Furious, Jimmy attacks George, but just then, the lights dim and a shot rings out. When the lights come on again, Susan and George compliment Jimmy and Jane on their acting ability and then call Sam to inform him that the screen test has gone wonderfully and two new stars have been discovered. Realizing that they have been duped for their own good, Jimmy and Jane happily kiss.
Linda Lee Hill
Searles And Galian
The Slim Gaillard Trio
Although the music sequence photographer is listed on a dialogue continuity submitted to the New York State Censors as "Walter Strange," he is most likely cinematographer Walter Strenge. The continuity lists the film's copyright date as 1946, but as Cornel Wilde, who played "Jimmy Banks" in the film, was already a well-known and popular star by the mid-1940s, it is likely that the film was made several years earlier. References in one of the songs to the film Casablanca, which opened in late 1942, and to actress Lauren Bacall, whose first film was To Have and Have Not, which opened in 1944, indicate that some of the scenes May have been shot and inserted at a later date.
Although very little information is available on the production and reception of Stairway for a Star, the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library does not include a PCA number, indicating that the film was never approved by the PCA. The PCA accepted the script but objected to several song lyrics, including the line "If we can't tussle like that shapely Jane Russell," in the song "That's All Brother, That's All." The New York censorship board, however, approved the film in December 1946.
Musical numbers "That's All Brother, That's All," "Nina from Argentina" and "Maracas in Caracas" appear to have been included in the 1951 release The Rage of Burlesque,, although the plots of the two films are not similar. Modern sources add Robert Pitkin, Eileen Pollack and Donald Whalen to the cast of Stairway for a Star.