Marge is a capable secretary, but her bosses are more interested in her than her abilities. This causes her to be frequently unemployed. To get a job, she changes her look to make herself ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When asked by John Barrymore why he should play the role of Oscar, Howard Hawks replied, "It's the story of the biggest ham on earth and you're the biggest ham I know." Barrymore accepted at once. See more »
When Jaffee claims he has an inspiration he grabs Owen's coat, and in the next shot his hand is open. See more »
Now, before we begin I want you all to remember one thing. No matter what I may say... no matter what I may do on this stage during our work... I love you all.
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I have seen Twentieth Century several times and even quote one of the great Barrymore lines: After me, she's mousing around with that boy?
Barrymore succeeds so well in this film since he is parodying himself. He exaggerates and the voice is used like a singer who scoops the bottom and then rises an octave or two. It is great fun to hear him ham-up the lines. Lombard matches him in her own fashion and together they create a great comedy team. Unfortunately it is a one-time gag: there are just so many times an actor can parody himself without repeating or ruining any serious moments he might try in another film. (--or herself as Tallulah learned when she tried to perform "Streetcar Named Desire").
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