Binnie Barnes - Rotten Tomatoes

Binnie Barnes

Highest Rated:   100% Holiday (1938)
Lowest Rated:   71% Getting Gertie's Garter (1945)
Birthplace:   Not Available
Actress Binnie Barnes enjoyed a 30-year career on both sides of the Atlantic, and despite appearances in several notable films in her native England, she found her most lasting success in Hollywood, where she was best remembered for her tart-tongued portrayals. She was born Gittel Enoyce Barnes in London to a British father who was Jewish and an Italian mother. She was raised Jewish, although she converted to Catholicism upon her second marriage; later in life, she also took the formal name Gertrude Maude Barnes. It took until her teens before she actually entered performing, as a trick-rope artist in vaudeville (billed as "Texas Binnie Barnes"). Around that career start at 15, she also worked as a nurse, chorus girl, dance hostess, and milkmaid over the next few years. Barnes didn't start formal acting until age 26, working with Charles Laughton on stage. And apart from one appearance in a 1923 silent, she made her proper screen debut in 1931 in a series of short films, cast opposite comedian Stanley Lupino. Barnes was later signed to Alexander Korda's fledgling London Films, through which she was cast in movies such as Counsel's Opinion (1932) and other minor productions, earning the princely sum of 35 pounds (roughly $180) a week, which was actually very good money by ordinary standards, but hardly as star's compensation. She had something of a breakthrough in Korda's 1933 film The Private Life of Henry VIII portraying Catherine Howard, which gave her valuable exposure in England and America (where the movie was extraordinarily popular). Barnes was in the stage version of Cavalcade which, in turn, led to Hollywood to do the movie version and marked the beginning of her American career. Although she was initially uncomfortable in Hollywood, it was there that she spent most of the rest of her screen career. It helped that during the next few years she suppressed her English accent and developed a new, sassier persona as a wise-cracking female character lead, with her tall, imposing beauty and good looks, she was still attractive, but was usually cast as the heroine's best friend or older sister, and frequently with the best lines in those roles. At her best in those years, Barnes was a sort of trans-Atlantic rival to Eve Arden, cast in the same kind of sarcastic, knowing, yet attractive female roles. She still occasionally worked in films in England, including Korda's The Private Life of Don Juan and The Divorce of Lady X (a remake of Counsel's Opinion, in which Merle Oberon played her former role, while Barnes played the wife in the comedy of mistaken identity).Barnes had a sense of humor about herself that allowed her to work comfortably opposite performers such as the Ritz Brothers (The Three Musketeers), in which she was turned upside down and shaken by the comic trio; Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in The Time of Their Lives, in which she had one of the funniest "in" joke lines in the history of Hollywood (when meeting the intense, taciturn housekeeper played by Gale Sondergaard, Barnes' character remarks, "Didn't I see you in 'Rebecca'?"). She also got to portray a lusty side to her screen persona as the lady pirate Anne Bonney in The Spanish Main (a role originally slated for June Duprez), which afforded her a great death scene as well as some fierce and entertaining interactions with Maureen O'Hara, as the two contended for the affections of Paul Henried.In 1940, she married her second husband, actor/announcer-turned-film executive Mike Frankovich, and the two eventually moved to Italy following the end of the Second World War. There she produced movies, as well as acting in them, including Decameron Nights (1953) (in which -- shades of Alec Guinness -- she played eight different roles). Barnes retired in 1955 to devote herself to her home life, but in the mid-'60s, at her husband's insistence, she started to work again, on television and in feature films. She resumed acting on The Donna Reed Show, in two episodes three

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet 40 Carats
  • Maud Eriason
No Score Yet Where Angels Go---Trouble Follows!
  • Rosabelle
75% The Trouble With Angels
  • Sister Celestine
No Score Yet Decameron Nights
  • Contessa de Firenze
No Score Yet The Pirates of Capri
  • Queen Carolina
No Score Yet The Dude Goes West
  • Kiki Kelly
No Score Yet If Winter Comes
  • Natalie Bagshaw
No Score Yet The Time of Their Lives (The Ghost Steps Out)
  • Mildred Prescott
No Score Yet The Spanish Main
  • Anne Bonney
No Score Yet It's in the Bag
  • Eve Floogle
71% Getting Gertie's Garter
  • Barbara
No Score Yet Barbary Coast Gent
  • Lil Damish
No Score Yet Up In Mabel's Room
  • Alicia Larchmont
No Score Yet The Man From Down Under
  • Aggie Dawlins
No Score Yet I Married an Angel
  • Peggy
No Score Yet In Old California
  • Lacey Miller
No Score Yet Skylark
  • Myrtle Vantine
No Score Yet Three Girls About Town
  • Faith Banner
No Score Yet Melody Master
  • Actor
No Score Yet 'Til We Meet Again
  • Countess de Vaubert
No Score Yet This Thing Called Love
  • Charlotte Campbell
No Score Yet Day-Time Wife
  • Blanche
No Score Yet Frontier Marshal
  • Jerry
No Score Yet Wife, Husband and Friend
  • Cecil Carver
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers
  • Milady De Winter
No Score Yet Land of Liberty
  • Actor
100% Holiday
  • Laura Cram
No Score Yet The First Hundred Years
  • Claudia Weston
No Score Yet The Divorce of Lady X
  • Lady Claire Mere
No Score Yet The Adventures of Marco Polo
  • Nazama
No Score Yet Tropic Holiday
  • Marilyn Joyce
No Score Yet Three Blind Mice
  • Miriam
100% Broadway Melody of 1938
  • Caroline Whipple
86% Three Smart Girls
  • Donna Lyons
No Score Yet The Last of the Mohicans
  • Alice
No Score Yet Small Town Girl (One Horse Town)
  • Priscilla
No Score Yet Rendezvous
  • Olivia
No Score Yet Diamond Jim
  • Actor
No Score Yet Gift of Gab
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Private Life of Don Juan
  • Rosita, a Maid Pure and Simple
No Score Yet Forbidden Territory
  • Valerie Petrovna
95% The Private Life of Henry VIII
  • Katherine Howard

Quotes from Binnie Barnes' Characters