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>
Howard Hawks had signed a three-picture deal with MGM in 1933 and claimed that he made this film at Columbia while on a "paid vacation" from the other studio. "I got Barrymore and Lombard and made the picture in three weeks' time," Hawks boasted to an interviewer. In truth, however, shooting continued through another week due to the director's habit of drilling his cast in their lines and demanding retakes to get the rapid-fire delivery he wanted. Twentieth Century was the first film in which Hawks pushed this technique to its limit - and a prime example of its effect, though it certainly can be seen in his later comedies. See more »
When Jaffe takes over direction, he addresses Lily by her new name and she responds, even though she hasn't heard it before. This gap was caused by the deletion of a brief scene in which O'Malley informs her that Jaffe has changed her name. See more »
This film represents the pinnacle of Hollywood's Golden Age. The dialogue is witty and fast-paced, the acting is perfect, and most of all you will laugh until your sides split! Carol Lombard deserves to be called the queen of comedy, and John Barrymore will surprise you, especially if your only knowledge of him was from Grand Hotel. The supporting cast is great, especially Walter Connolly as Barrymore's much-put-upon associate.
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