Monday, August 5, 2013

Between Us Girls (1942)

Cast:
Diana Barrymore ... Caroline 'Carrie' Bishop
Robert Cummings ... Jimmy Blake
Kay Francis ... Christine 'Chris' Bishop
John Boles ... Steven J. Forbes
Andy Devine ... Mike Kilinsky
Ethel Griffies ... Gallagher
Walter Catlett ... Desk Sergeant
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Father of the Boys
Scotty Beckett ... Little Prince Leopold
Andrew Tombes ... Doctor
Peter Jamerson ... Harold
Mary Treen ... Mary Belle

Produced and Directed by Henry Koster.
Based on the play "Le Fruit Vert" by Regis Gignoux & Jacques Thery.
Adapted by Hans Jacoby & John Jacoby.
Screenplay by Miles Connolly & True Boardman.
Gowns by Vera West.
Musical Direction by Charles Pervin.
Camera by Joseph A. Valentine.
Editing by Frank Gross.
Special make-up by Bud Westmore (Diana Barrymore's costume make-up).

Released September 4, 1942.
A Universal Picture.

Vintage Reviews:

By T.S. in the New York Times, September 25, 1942.

No doubt even the offspring of royal families must be allowed their little indiscretions, but why display them? Certainly not Diana Barrymore's protean revel in the Capitol's "Between Us Girls," which might better have used the title of the original script, "Green Fruit," or more pointedly, "Six Performances in Search of an Actress." With an unabashed zest hardly equalled by Mickey Rooney himself, Miss Barrymore runs the gamut of her limitations—from old Queen Victoria, not even a makeup artist's triumph, to a grade school Joan of Arc; from gin-voiced, hip-swinging Sadie Thompson to a screeching adolescent. Miss Barrymore's abilities are hardly so diverse. If she has talent she should not conceal it in such a frenzied and labored exhibition.

Adapted from a farce of the meager sort once regularly imported from France, the film tells the story of a young actress who comes home from the road to find her mother again facing the pleasant prospect of marriage to a suitor, who has illusions as to the mother's age; to prevent a disastrous disillusionment the actress promptly pops into middy waists and short socks and ribbons only to discover finally that the whole ruse was unnecessary. A thin story, its only excuse for existence is as a showcase for a talented comedienne, and, as of the moment, Miss Barrymore hardly qualifies. She does not assume a role, she wrestles with it. She has not learned that in comedy the ribs should be tickled not poked. As a display of sheer vim and vigor, Miss Barrymore's performance is a great advertisement for breakfast food.

In supporting roles, Robert Cummings portrays an amusingly baffled young man and Andy Devine, Kay Francis and John Boles are adequate. But inasmuch as the picture frankly sets out to exploit Miss Barrymore's talents, it stands or falls upon them. It falls, we fear, with a rather heavy thud.






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