53 user 38 critic

Man of the Century (1999)

Fantasy-comedy about a young man who lives as if it is 1928 or so, and his encounters with modern-day women and modern-day criminals.


Adam Abraham

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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gibson Frazier ... Johnny Twennies
Cara Buono ... Virginia Clemens
Ian Edwards ... Clarence
Brian Davies ... Victor Young
Susan Egan ... Samantha Winter
Yul Vazquez ... Brooding Artist
Dwight Ewell Dwight Ewell ... Richard Lancaster
Brian Kite Brian Kite ... Messenger
David Margulies ... Mr. Meyerscholtz
Anthony Rapp ... Timothy Burns
Alfred Hyslop Alfred Hyslop ... Public Official
David Anzuelo ... Degenerate
Sean Patrick Reilly ... Reporter
Alan Davidson Alan Davidson ... Tyrus
Kevin Weisman ... Squibb


Johnny Twennies, a newspaper columnist in present-day New York, is a jauntily cheerful, very friendly, totally honest and upstanding young man who happens to be completely oblivious to any technological or social changes in the past 70 years. He routinely uses telegrams, a manual typewriter, and a manual toaster, and to the pleasure and despair of his girlfriend conducts his personal life in correspondingly anachronistic style. One day he's threatened by criminals who want to plant a false news story. But they've never met anyone like him before... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's Yesterday's Answer To Today's World. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





Italian | Chinese | English

Release Date:

24 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Twennies See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,724, 31 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$33,031, 14 November 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Feature film debut of Ian Edwards, who portrays Clarence. See more »


Johnny promises his editor that he will scoop the Journal American. Johnny's character is set in the 1920s, but the New York Journal American, a Hearst newspaper, did not exist until 1937, after the merger of two Hearst newspapers, the New York Journal, and the New York American. See more »


Samantha Winter: Johnny, what are you doing?
Johnny Twennies: I'm incognito.
Richard Lancaster: Hey, Johnny.
Johnny Twennies: Rats!
See more »


References Chinatown (1974) See more »


The Merry Widow Waltz
Written by Franz Lehár, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein (as Leo Stein)
Performed by Lester Lanin And His Orchestra
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

This is the 'darndest' film - B/W, musical segments, quick wits, playfully enjoyable.
24 January 2003 | by ruby_fffSee all my reviews

What a delightful film - I finally got to see "Man of the Century" on Cable IFC and simply tickled by Gibson Frazier's portrayal of Johnny. Oh yes, he's 'dead on'. He co-wrote the screenplay with director Adam Abraham and it's only natural he played the lead role Johnny Twennies. "Man of the Century" 1999 is Abraham and Frazier's debut feature film. It is in black and white - what a stroke of genius of a decision. The prologue is a brief segment shot like a silent film - I just watched with bemusement. I like it already. Worry not, once Johnny opens his mouth, he couldn't stop! He'd even break into songs as the occasion arises.

Johnny is a newspaper man in New York City in the 90's with a mindset of the 20's era - he walks, talks, interacts, reacts as if he's in the (roaring) '20s, immersed in songs of Irvin Berlin, Gershwin and Gershwin. There is action alright - threatening gangsters, romantic assumptions, comedy of errors… Of course all's well that ends well like everything 20's, but how? Check out the film! It's a breezy enjoyable 77 mins.

Abraham and Frazier are also the film's producers and music producers, with many a-family members and friends included as part of the crew. Soundtrack contains: Look for the Silver Lining (Kern and DeSylva), Diga Diga Do (McHugh and Fields), Dancing in the Dark (Schwartz and Dietz), You were meant for me (Brown and Freed). The supporting cast is just as wonderfully talented: Cara Buono as Virginia, Susan Egan as Samantha, Anthony Rapp as Timmy. Noticed Bobby Short is in there along with jazzy swinging tunes. Ann Jackson is Madam Du Froid, Johnny's Mom.

If you like director and choreographer Rob Marshall's musical "Chicago" (with Zellweger, Gere, Zeta Jones, Reilly, Latifah), also give "Man of the Century" a chance. Smaller budget (shot in 23-days in NYC), but an endearing and thoroughly entertaining film! "Believe you me, it's quite the berries!"

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