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
Anne Jackson's cameo is billed under the assumed name, "Madame Du Froid". This seems to be a reference to the fact that her husband, Eli Wallach, once played "Mr. Freeze" in Batman (1966). 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 »
This is the 'darndest' film - B/W, musical segments, quick wits, playfully enjoyable.
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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