Playmates

  • 1941
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Musical

What a sad bow-out for John Barrymore. It was his final film and did nothing to revere the memory of a man who had once been one of the finest classical stage actors in the U.S. Barrymore plays himself, a has-been, washed-up actor managed by Kelly, who gets him to teach Shakespeare to Kay Kyser on the off chance that this will help Barrymore's flagging...read more

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What a sad bow-out for John Barrymore. It was his final film and did nothing to revere the memory of a man who had once been one of the finest classical stage actors in the U.S. Barrymore plays himself, a has-been, washed-up actor managed by Kelly, who gets him to teach Shakespeare to Kay

Kyser on the off chance that this will help Barrymore's flagging career get back in gear. There's to be a Bard Festival on a huge estate on Long Island owned by Fleming and Cleveland. Fleming is taken by the actor and her husband is a well-to-do man who just might sponsor a radio show. Barrymore

doesn't want to teach Kyser how to speak the lines and eventually puts some alum in throat spray and hopes Kyser will lose his voice so Barrymore can go on in his stead. But Kyser catches wise, switches the spray and Barrymore winds up unable to speak, thus giving Kyser and his band the

opportunity to mutilate "Romeo and Juliet" with a swing music version. Barrymore enlists the aid of Velez, as a female torero, to make Keyser too tired but her vamping only makes the leader of "The College of Musical Knowledge" even stronger. There is nothing to recommend the score, which was

written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke and included: "Humpty Dumpty Heart" (sung by Ginny Simms), "How Long Did I Dream?" (sung by Simms, Harry Babbitt), "Que Chica?" (sung by Lupe Velez), "Romeo Smith and Juliet Jones" (performed by Kay Kyser and the orchestra), "Thank Your Lucky Stars and

Stripes" (performed by entire cast). Whatever comedy there is comes when watching Barrymore gnaw the sets. His Shakespeare soliloquy still shows that he knew what to do with the right script.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: What a sad bow-out for John Barrymore. It was his final film and did nothing to revere the memory of a man who had once been one of the finest classical stage actors in the U.S. Barrymore plays himself, a has-been, washed-up actor managed by Kelly, who get… (more)

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