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.


Howard Hawks


Charles Bruce Millholland (play), Ben Hecht (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... Oscar Jaffe
Carole Lombard ... Lily Garland formerly Mildred Plotka
Walter Connolly ... Oliver Webb
Roscoe Karns ... Owen O'Malley
Ralph Forbes ... George Smith
Charles Lane ... Max Jacobs (as Charles Levison)
Etienne Girardot ... Matthew J. Clark
Dale Fuller ... Sadie
Edgar Kennedy ... Oscar McGonigle
Billie Seward ... Anita


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 nothing to do with her former mentor. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For everybody who was tickled pink by "It Happened One Night" (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ((Pittsburgh Penna.)) 6 June 1934) See more »


Comedy | Romance


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Did You Know?


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 »


The check that Clark writes to the porter is dated 1933. Working backwards, this establishes that the first act takes place in 1926 and the second in 1929, though the fashions and hairstyles remain very contemporary 1933-1934 throughout the entire film. See more »


Oscar Jaffe: Lily, that's an inspiration. Go on, while you're in the creative mood.
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Spoofed in Streamline Express (1935) See more »


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

Brief Summary
15 November 1998 | by boris-26See all my reviews

As soon as this gem begins, we're dipped into great comedy. An egomanical producer (a very funny John Barrymore) takes lowly fashion model Mildred Plotka (equally funny Carole Lombard) and makes her the darling of Broadway. She rebels from his Svengali-like grasp and heads for Hollywood. Years later, Barrymore, armed with his sidekicks (tipsy Roscoe Karns and whiner Walter Connely) meet Lombard on a cross country train. During this insane adventure there's hammy Euro-trash Passion Play actors (They think "Moocher" is some sort of compliment), a kindly old religious nut (armed with repent stickers and bouncing checks) The finale verbal-physical spat of Lombard vs. Barrymore is not for the faint of heart! A Classic comedy Goldmine!!

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English | German

Release Date:

11 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

20th Century See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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