Lulu Monahan (Patsy Kelly), the press agent for John Barrymore (John Barrymore),is attempting to get a sponsor for a radio program. To that end, she and the agent for bandleader Kay Kyser (... See full summary »
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Lulu Monahan (Patsy Kelly), the press agent for John Barrymore (John Barrymore),is attempting to get a sponsor for a radio program. To that end, she and the agent for bandleader Kay Kyser (Kay Kyser), plant a story that the great Shakespearean actor, over his heartfelt objections, will teach Kyser how to play Shakespeare, which isn't the same as playing Paducah, which soon becomes evident. Highlights are the singing of Ginny Simms and a rumba by Lupe Velez; lowlights already cited. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
John Barrymore's career came to an ingloroious end when he was top billed by Kay Kyser and was acting basically as a stooge for Kyser and the rest of the cast of Playmates. Most especially Patsy Kelly who plays agent to an actor named John Barrymore.
Peter Lind Hayes is Kyser's agent and the two of them cook up a plot to help the both of them. For his radio show with studio audience Kyser is to be taught Shakespeare by one of the Bard's most noted exponents.
Kay Kyser was a very big name on radio and in record sales for the whole decade of the Forties. Occasionally he did a film like Playmates and he never played anything more than Kay Kyser which is what the movie-going public wanted from him.
The music is fine, it's always nice to hear Harry Babbitt and Ginny Simms sing. Poor Barrymore though. This was what he was reduced to at the end. At the same time he was doing this in his final career engagement he was also being a stooge for Rudy Vallee on his radio show The Fleischman hour.
There's another Hollywood tragedy here as well. Lupe Velez plays a female bullfighter not too much different from her Mexican Spitfire character. In two years she would be dead by suicide. Lupe was a major star at the beginning of sound, but she liked to party hearty and she ended in B films.
Playmates is good for fans of Kay Kyser, but poignantly sad for those who like John Barrymore and Lupe Velez.
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