7.8/10
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59 user 47 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.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... Jaffe
Carole Lombard ... Lily
Walter Connolly ... Webb
Roscoe Karns ... O'Malley
Ralph Forbes ... George Smith
Charles Lane ... Jacobs (as Charles Levison)
Etienne Girardot ... Clark
Dale Fuller ... Sadie
Edgar Kennedy ... 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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

11 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

20th Century See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie production took place during the first year of NAZI control of Germany. An early appearance of a swastika in a Hollywood production can be seen inside the Chicago stage door when the knight's armor is being removed. 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

Owen O'Malley: What are you talking about? That's not a contract - it's a coronation. Barrels of rubies, enormous carpets for your pretty feet, pearl and onyx bathrubs, slews of myrmidons at your beck and call... Come on, sign it now while the sap is flowing.
See more »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the funniest of the 1930's comedies
18 September 1999 | by Dick-108See all my reviews

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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