Tales from the Crypt: Season 3, Episode 5

Top Billing (26 Jun. 1991)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Horror
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 331 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

An unattractive and unlucky actor can't get a role because of his looks. His agent and girlfriend leave him. But he doesn't intend to give up - he wants the role of Hamlet.



(screenplay), (comic books)
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Title: Top Billing (26 Jun 1991)

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Episode cast overview:
Barry Blye
Winton Robbins
Nelson Halliwell
Gregory Cooke ...
Hamlet Actor
Sheila Winters
Crypt Keeper (voice)
Bob Larkin ...
Joe S. Cardi ...
Mr. Kroger (as Joseph Cardinale)
Jason Kelly ...


A desperate actor, Barry Blye, doesn't "have the look" of an actor - that's what he gets told every time he auditions for a role. His agent is of the same opinion, and tells him she doesn't want to work with him any more. His girlfriend breaks up with him. His former rival Winton Robbins advices him to get roles he will get paid for, not serious roles, because it's all about money and good looks rather than acting. Barry disagrees; he intends to get the role of Hamlet himself. At the theatre, he meets Winton, who wants to get ahead of Barry again, like several years ago, to prove his point. Written by David Shahoumian <dave2070@gmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

26 June 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Spoofs Masterpiece Classic (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Gomez Addams does Shakespeare!
2 February 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This utterly cool "Tales from the Crypt" episode perhaps features the best casting job of them all! Jon Lovitz is excellent as the frustrated actor who can never seem to get work because he hasn't got "the look" and – especially – the immortal John Astin (Gomez in the original 60's TV-series of "The Addams Family") is sublime as the insane and overly perfectionist director, obsessed with his personal adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Failed actor Barry Blye would do everything to get the part of Hamlet, and that includes eliminating the competition, but he had better informed about the requirements of the role first… John Astin clearly had a lot of fun and he brilliantly goes over-the-top in his devotion to Shakespeare's oeuvre. The twisted ending, which is the number one reason why this TV-show was so good, is marvelous and actually quite shocking. The make-up effects and set pieces are more professionally handled than usual in the show and guest director Todd Holland (who specializes in TV-work) is in total control of his gifted cast. There also are terrific supportive roles for Bruce Boxleitner, Kimmy Robertson and even Louise Fletcher. This episode is one of the reasons why the third season was the best of all seven.

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