7.8/10
4,709
57 user 44 critic

Twentieth Century (1934)

A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career.

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Writers:

(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Max Jacobs aka Max Mandelbaum (as Charles Levison)
Etienne Girardot ...
Mathew J. Clark
...
Sadie
...
Oscar McGonigle
Billie Seward ...
Anita
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Storyline

Broadway director Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore) is a bigger ham than most actors, but through sheer drive and talent he is able to build a successful career. When one of his discoveries, Lily Garland (Carole Lombard), rises to stardom and heeds the call of Hollywood, Oscar begins a career slide. He hits the skids and seems on his way out, until he chances to meet Lily again, on a train ride aboard the Twentieth Century Limited. Oscar pulls out all the stops to re-sign his former star, but it's a battle... because Lily, who is as temperamental as Oscar is, wants to have nothing to do with her former mentor. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

11 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

20th Century  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Preston Sturges was hired to write the screenplay, but he was let go a week later after he had "failed to get going" on the script. See more »

Goofs

When Jaffe takes over direction, he addresses Lily by her new name and she responds, even though she hasn't heard it before. This gap was caused by the deletion of a brief scene in which O'Malley informs her that Jaffe has changed her name. See more »

Quotes

Mathew J. Clark: I've often thought I might like to devote myself to the theater. Would you think there might be a place for me?
Oliver Webb: Oh yes, yes. Probably fill a long-felt want.
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Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung a cappella by Walter Connolly
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User Reviews

 
Exceptionally good screwball comedy
6 November 2002 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

Funny and intelligent comedy features a brilliant performance by Barrymore, spoofing his earlier "Svengali" role. He looks and acts a lot like Peter Sellars would in later similar performances; now morose, then practically jumping with energy. Lombard also turns in a right-on performance.

Here is a film where Hawks really finds his mark, because the comedic action is perfectly timed, flows nicely, and feels natural, and even includes some early Hawks "overlapping dialogue".

Hardly a dull moment, miles above its peers.


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