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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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Max Jacobs aka Max Mandelbaum (as Charles Levison)
Etienne Girardot ...
Mathew J. Clark
Dale Fuller ...
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

There were some problems with the censors during filming, with industry watchdogs made nervous about religious angles in the film's humour. Joseph Breen, who ran the Hays Office, predicted "serious difficulty in inducing an anti-Semitic public to accept a [motion picture] play produced by an industry believed to be Jewish in which the Passion Play is used for comedy purposes." One line from this sequence was removed at Breen's request, and the Office also requested that it be made "less clear" exactly where Oscar jabs Lily with a pin during one of their skirmishe 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

Lily Garland, aka Mildred Plotka: Is Oscar Jaffe on this train? You'd better tell me.
Owen O'Malley: Right in there. The Little Corporal is returning from another Moscow, his head bloodied but still unbowed.
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Connections

Spoofs Coquette (1929) 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

sparkling work from the leads
8 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Howard Hawks' early foray into screwball comedy pits the wonderful pairing of John Barrymore and Carole Lombard against each other. She is Lily Garland, a Broadway actress about to break in Hollywood; he's her theatrical producer and on-off beau, desperate for her to stay. Around half of the film is taken up with them screeching at each other, leaving the supporting actors with very little to do.

There is a lot of sparkle here, great performances from the two leads, who work together just fine, and a screenplay which moves almost as fast as the train which gives the movie its title. Ten years after this was made, both Barrymore and Lombard were dead, but this stands as a fine epitaph for them together.


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