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Playmates

Playmates(1941)

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Crying Boy

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  • BARRYMORE'S LAST FILM

    • Michael Steven
    • 5/6/12

    O.K.John Barrymore was my FAVORITE actor.I wasn't around when he was at his peak,but from what I understand,when he was at the top of his game,HE WAS THE BEST!This was NOT one of those times.I finally saw this in the mid-80's, & LAUGHED.To date,I've read EVERY book written about Barrymore,& this film.Jack willingly went along with this.He needed the money.By the time Barrymore made this film,his memory was BAD,as was his health.He'd just divorced his 4th wife,& it seemed that the only work he was capable of doing was The Rudy Vallee radio show. Contrary to what some of you might have heard,John Barrymore was treated with the utmost respect.The part that kills me,is when he overreacts to certain situations.The part that saddens me,is when he has to read a portion of "HAMLET" from blackboards.Watch his eyes moving.When he speaks about how great he was as HAMLET,& how the world practically worshipped him-IT'S ALL TRUE FOLKS. Kay Kaiser & his crew are tops in this film as well.

  • 'Playmates' is 1941 RKO swing fun!

    • Steven Beasley
    • 8/11/08

    This is a fun film starring big bandleader Kay Kyser in his 3rd RKO feature, and the third KK film to be directed and produced by David Butler. John Barrymore costars, as does Patsy Kelly, Peter Lind Hayes and Lupe Velez.The plot revolves around Barrymore's agent (Kelly) trying to secure a radio contract for JB by schmoozing up Kyser with the idea Kyser will learn Shakespeare from JB. Barrymore has been threatened by the IRS, and must make a large payment, thus the need for the radio contract income. Barrymore, however, has no intention of honoring his commitment to Kyser, and tries to distract him by having Lupe pretend to be in love w/ the bespectacled bandleader. Kyser finds out and double crosses JB's sfforts to a fun conclusion. Some great music by the Kyser band, with Ginny Simms aboard one final time before her leaving the KK band in October of '41 for her own brief movie career. Barrymore recites the Hamlet soliloqy and allegedly cried real tears during the filming. As a Kyser archivist, I have some great behind-the-scenes stories about this film. It's definitely a Kyser vehicle, and naysayers that claim JB was 'mistreated' in the script must remember JB willingly took the job, though it does exploit his drinking and money troubles to comedic effect. For more on Kyser, go to my officialkaykyser page on myspace, or my Kyser site at kaykyser.net.

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