Twentieth Century Overview:

Twentieth Century (1934) was a Comedy - Romance Film directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hawks and Harry Cohn.

SYNOPSIS

Here's another whip-smart comedy from Hawks-Hecht-MacArthur, the His Girl Friday (1940) team. Theater producer Barrymore molds Lombard into a Broadway smash, but their hectic life leads her to the saner climes of Hollywood where she becomes an even bigger star. Without his former wife, Barrymore can't get a show together and he's on the run from Chicago to New York aboard the famous Twentieth Century Limited. As luck and romantic farce demand, Lombard's on the same train with her new beau, slow-witted football star Karns. After much hilarious wheedling, wooing, door-slamming, and conniving, Lombard's ready once again for the Great White Way. Barrymore at his best, and a terrific warm-up for even bigger things from the creators.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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Twentieth Century was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2011.

BlogHub Articles:

Silver Screen Standards: Twentieth Century (1934)

By Jennifer Garlen on Jan 10, 2023 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Silver Screen Standards: Twentieth Century (1934) Although it?s not as widely celebrated today as Bringing Up Baby (1938), director Howard Hawks? Twentieth Century (1934) is another go-for-broke screwball comedy with protagonists who are all bonkers. This earlier picture stars John Barrymore and ... Read full article


Silver Screen Standards: Twentieth Century (1934)

By Jennifer Garlen on Jan 10, 2023 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Silver Screen Standards: Twentieth Century (1934) Although it?s not as widely celebrated today as Bringing Up Baby (1938), director Howard Hawks? Twentieth Century (1934) is another go-for-broke screwball comedy with protagonists who are all bonkers. This earlier picture stars John Barrymore and ... Read full article


Of 2020 and "Twentieth Century"

By carole_and_co on Jan 1, 2021 From Carole & Co.

At times we weren't certain we'd reach 2021, but indeed we have, which gives us plenty of reason to smile, just as Carole Lombard is doing above. But as 2020 further retreats in our figurative rear-view mirror, let's look back at a response to one of her most memorable movies, indeed the one that pu... Read full article


Twentieth Century (1934, Howard Hawks)

By Andrew Wickliffe on Aug 14, 2019 From The Stop Button

Even with its way too abrupt finish, Twentieth Century is rare delight. Would it be more successful if the ending hadn’t wasted Carole Lombard? Yes, but also because it would’ve given lead John Barrymore more Lombard to act opposite and Barrymore’s best opposite Lombard. He’s... Read full article


Twentieth Century (1934, Howard Hawks)

By Andrew Wickliffe on Aug 14, 2019 From The Stop Button

Even with its way too abrupt finish, Twentieth Century is rare delight. Would it be more successful if the ending hadn’t wasted Carole Lombard? Yes, but also because it would’ve given lead John Barrymore more Lombard to act opposite and Barrymore’s best opposite Lombard. He’s... Read full article


See all Twentieth Century articles

Quotes from

Lily Garland, aka Mildred Plotka: Oscar, you're complete. The most horrible excuse for a human being that ever walked on two legs.


Oscar Jaffe: Those movies you were in! It's sacrilege throwing you away on things like that. When I left that movie house, I felt some magnificent ruby had been thrown into a platter of lard.


Lily Garland, aka Mildred Plotka: Yes, I tried to save you pain. I lied, yes, only to save you.
Oscar Jaffe: That's from "Sappho"!


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Facts about

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.
Howard Hawks was concerned when Carole Lombard could not perform the kicking scene very well. Hawks took her out for a walk and recalls, "I asked her how much money she was getting for this picture. She told me and I said, 'What would you say if I told you you'd earned your whole salary this morning and didn't have to act anymore?' And she was stunned. So I said, 'Now forget about the scene. What would you do if someone said such and such to you?' And she said, 'I'd kick him in the balls.' And I said, 'Well, he (John Barrymore) said something like that - why don't you kick him?' She said, 'Are you kidding?' And I said, 'No.'" Hawks ended the conversation with, "Now we're going back in and make this scene and you kick, and you do any damn thing that comes into your mind that's natural, and quit acting. If you don't quit, I'm going to fire you this afternoon." Hawks' white lies did the trick, and the scene was filmed. In addition, Hawks claimed that after that, Lombard never began another movie without sending him a telegram that read, "I'm gonna start kicking him."
After filming had ended, John Barrymore gave Carole Lombard an autographed photo inscribed, "To the finest actress I have worked with, bar none."
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National Film Registry

Twentieth Century

Released 1934
Inducted 2011
(Sound)




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Also directed by Howard Hawks




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Also produced by Howard Hawks




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Also released in 1934




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