7.8/10
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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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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
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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

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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

Howard Hawks was concerned when Carole Lombard could not perform the kicking scene very well. Hawks took her out for a walk and recalls, "I asked her how much money she was getting for this picture. She told me and I said, 'What would you say if I told you you'd earned your whole salary this morning and didn't have to act anymore?' And she was stunned. So I said, 'Now forget about the scene. What would you do if someone said such and such to you?' And she said, 'I'd kick him in the balls.' And I said, 'Well, he (John Barrymore) said something like that - why don't you kick him?' She said, 'Are you kidding?' And I said, 'No.'" Hawks ended the conversation with, "Now we're going back in and make this scene and you kick, and you do any damn thing that comes into your mind that's natural, and quit acting. If you don't quit, I'm going to fire you this afternoon." Hawks' white lies did the trick, and the scene was filmed. In addition, Hawks claimed that after that, Lombard never began another movie without sending him a telegram that read, "I'm gonna start kicking him." See more »

Goofs

When Jaffee claims he has an inspiration he grabs Owen's coat, and in the next shot his hand is open. See more »

Quotes

Mathew J. Clark: He had a gun! I shot him in self-defense!
Oscar Jaffe: Owen, I was aiming at myself. He grabbed the gun away from me and shot me. That's the final irony... Killed by a lunatic.
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Connections

Spoofed in Streamline Express (1935) See more »

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

 
One of the top 10 screwball comedies from the 30's
24 February 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The screwball comedy began in the early thirties and went out of fashion before the second world war. The Twentieth Century of 1934 is a first class screwball comedy especially written for Barrymore who fits the role like a leather glove. The style however is too smart for the general movie consumer outside of large cities like New York where there is real cosmopolitan theater. Lombard is total perfection and excellent opposite to Barrymore. They are funny and dramatic with perfect exact timing seldom seen in film today. One of Howard Hawks extremely over looked movies but will hopefully change now with a new generation. A zany comedy which barely pauses for any kind of romance but is about romance. If you are one of those who love the silver screen and crazy screwball comedy genre of the 30's this is a must.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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