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Twentieth Century (1934)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  11 May 1934 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,094 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 42 critic

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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Title: Twentieth Century (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Ralph Forbes ...
George Smith
...
Max Jacobs aka Max Mandelbaum (as Charles Levison)
Etienne Girardot ...
Mathew J. Clark
Dale Fuller ...
Sadie
Edgar Kennedy ...
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

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

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 the man kneels in front of Jaffe and calls him Maestro, the position of the man's hands change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Oscar Jaffe: You amoeba.
Max Jacobs: It's the truth, whether you know it or not.
Oscar Jaffe: Owen, take this creature who came to me as an office boy as Max Mendlebaum and who is now Max Jacobs for some mysterious reason and throw him into the street.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Coquette (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung a cappella by Walter Connolly
See more »

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User Reviews

Barrymore, Lombard, and Hawks Are Outstanding
5 May 1999 | by (Preston, CT>) – See all my reviews

John Barrymore is in rare form in Twentieth Century (1934), Howard Hawks's hilarious, fast-paced screwball comedy. He plays flamboyant Broadway director-producer Oscar Jaffe, a man for whom the whole world is truly a stage. The always enchanting Carole Lombard co-stars as Mildred Plotka/Lily Garland. (Oscar demanded the name change because Mildred Plotka isn't nearly as glamorous sounding as Lily Garland.) Mildred, an aspiring Broadway actress, is remade by Oscar into a star of the New York stage. For three years he directs her plays, guides her career, and is her lover. But after they have a big disagreement, she takes off for Hollywood. Her career soars; his plummets. Time passes and then on board the Twentieth Century heading for Grand Central Station, they meet again. As usual in a Hawks film, the supporting cast is outstanding; and Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's screenplay is one of their finest.


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