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 (...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Agents Patsy Kelly (as Lulu Monahan) and Peter Lind Hayes (as Peter Lindsay) decide to get their famous clients - legendary actor John Barrymore (as John Barrymore) and popular band-leader Kay Kyser (as Kay Kyser) together for a profitable publicity stunt. The plan is to have Mr. Barrymore teach Mr. Kyser to perform Shakespeare on stage. At first, both resist. But, Kyser relents and Barrymore needs money. This film features Kyser's very popular band members, sweet singers Harry Babbitt and Ginny Simms along with Beatle-Ish Kabibble, guest star Lupe Velez, Sully Mason, and others...
More importantly, this was Barrymore's last film appearance; he died shortly after its release, and "Playmates" is considered evidence of the once highly-respected actor's sad decline. This is true, for the most part, but you've got to love Barrymore's reciting of Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" speech. The Great Profile's reaction after saying "there's the rub" for Kyser in "Playmates" is a must for Barrymore followers. His performance of "Hamlet" on stage was considered one of Barrymore's greatest roles, but there was, sadly, no filmed version; note, a tantalizing "Hamlet" color screen test scene is available on popular video sites.
***** Playmates (12/26/41) David Butler ~ John Barrymore, Kay Kyser, Patsy Kelly, Peter Lind Hayes
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