Playmates (1941)

96 mins | Comedy | 26 December 1941

Director:

David Butler

Producer:

David Butler

Cinematographer:

Frank Redman

Editor:

Irene Morra

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a pre-production news item in HR , Dennis O'Keefe was initially slated for a male romantic lead in this picture. In the CBCS, the character played by Peter Lind Hayes was originally named "Chuck Deems" and Lupe Velez's character was named "Conchita." Singer Ginny Simms made her last screen appearance with the Kay Kyser band in this picture before embarking upon her solo career as an actress. This was John Barrymore's last screen appearance; he died on 29 May 1942. The picture also marked the third Kay Kyser-David Butler collaboration produced by ... More Less

According to a pre-production news item in HR , Dennis O'Keefe was initially slated for a male romantic lead in this picture. In the CBCS, the character played by Peter Lind Hayes was originally named "Chuck Deems" and Lupe Velez's character was named "Conchita." Singer Ginny Simms made her last screen appearance with the Kay Kyser band in this picture before embarking upon her solo career as an actress. This was John Barrymore's last screen appearance; he died on 29 May 1942. The picture also marked the third Kay Kyser-David Butler collaboration produced by RKO. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Nov 1941.
---
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1941.
---
Film Daily
10 Nov 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Nov 41
pp. 349-50.
New York Times
26 Dec 41
p. 21.
Variety
12 Nov 41
p. 9.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Humpty Dumpty Heart," "How Long Did I Dream?" "Thank Your Lucky Stars and Stripes," "Romeo Smith and Juliet Jones" and "Que chica," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 December 1941
Production Date:
22 July--early September 1941
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 November 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10850
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
96
Length(in feet):
8,642
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7570
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Lulu Monahan, press agent to actor John Barrymore, is trying to sell her client's services to Mr. Pennypacker, the sponsor of a local radio show. When Pennypacker rejects Barrymore because he is no longer in the public eye, Lulu devises a stunt to generate publicity for Barrymore. Teaming up with Peter Lindsey, press agent to band leader Kay Kyser, Lulu concocts a publicity stunt in which Barrymore will teach Shakespeare to Kay. Barrymore is reluctant to work with the "Dixieland MacBeth" until the Internal Revenue Service demands payment of his back taxes and Lulu assures him that the alliance will result in a lucrative radio contract with Pennypacker. When Lulu embellishes the stunt by promising a summer festival of Shakespearean plays starring Kay and Barrymore, Pennypacker's social-climbing wife is so impressed by the concept that she offers their Long Island estate for the festival. Barrymore then begins to tutor Kay, who recites Shakespeare with his Carolina twang. Although Barrymore fails to win the admiration of his pupil, he charms Kay's grandmother and Ginny, Kay's lead singer. When female bullfighter and former girl friend Carmen del Toro bursts upon the scene and demands Barrymore's attentions, the thespian devises a scheme to eliminate Kay by incinerating him with Carmen's fiery charms. Rather than exhausting Kay, however, Carmen's rumbas and congas energize him, thwarting Barrymore's plan. Four days before the performance, Kay is recording his speech when he leaves the room to speak to Grandma. The recorder is still running when Barrymore and Lulu enter the room and Barrymore relates a new scheme to eliminate Kay. When Kay replays the recording, he hears Barrymore's ... +


Lulu Monahan, press agent to actor John Barrymore, is trying to sell her client's services to Mr. Pennypacker, the sponsor of a local radio show. When Pennypacker rejects Barrymore because he is no longer in the public eye, Lulu devises a stunt to generate publicity for Barrymore. Teaming up with Peter Lindsey, press agent to band leader Kay Kyser, Lulu concocts a publicity stunt in which Barrymore will teach Shakespeare to Kay. Barrymore is reluctant to work with the "Dixieland MacBeth" until the Internal Revenue Service demands payment of his back taxes and Lulu assures him that the alliance will result in a lucrative radio contract with Pennypacker. When Lulu embellishes the stunt by promising a summer festival of Shakespearean plays starring Kay and Barrymore, Pennypacker's social-climbing wife is so impressed by the concept that she offers their Long Island estate for the festival. Barrymore then begins to tutor Kay, who recites Shakespeare with his Carolina twang. Although Barrymore fails to win the admiration of his pupil, he charms Kay's grandmother and Ginny, Kay's lead singer. When female bullfighter and former girl friend Carmen del Toro bursts upon the scene and demands Barrymore's attentions, the thespian devises a scheme to eliminate Kay by incinerating him with Carmen's fiery charms. Rather than exhausting Kay, however, Carmen's rumbas and congas energize him, thwarting Barrymore's plan. Four days before the performance, Kay is recording his speech when he leaves the room to speak to Grandma. The recorder is still running when Barrymore and Lulu enter the room and Barrymore relates a new scheme to eliminate Kay. When Kay replays the recording, he hears Barrymore's plans and decides to reciprocate. After arranging for Barrymore's guru, Prince Maharoohu, to summon the actor to meet the Grand Lama, Kay masquerades as the Grand Lama and tricks Barrymore into revealing his scheme to spray Kay's throat with an elixir that will render him speechless. When Ginny, who has accompanied Barrymore, insists on seeing the Grand Lama, Kay foretells two futures for her: one with an aging actor, the other with a nice young band leader. On the day of the festival, Kay pours the elixir into Barrymore's champagne glass and refills the atomizer with a harmless liquid. After drinking a toast to success, Barrymore takes command of the stage and is beginning to welcome the audience when he loses his ability to speak and is hooted off the stage. Kay and his band then take his place to present their swing version of Shakespeare, "Romeo Smith and Juliet Jones." Pennypacker is so impressed by the performance that he presents Barrymore with a radio contract, after which Ginny, taking the guru's advice, awards Kay with an embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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