>Twentieth Century (1934)


A few posts ago I wrote about how I wanted to discover Carole Lombard, and now I had a chance to do so, while watching Howard Hawks’ Twentieth Century in the movies. Carole has a great comic timing and looks stunning from the beggining to the end, first as a self-conscious shop girl who dreams of becoming a stage actress, and at last, an accomplished Hollywood star (I love how she’s wearing trousers and flats in a certain moment). Although she’s quite funny, it’s John Barrymore who steals the show in a hilarious performance as Oscar Jaffe, an idiosyncratic Broadway director who discovers Mildred Plotka (Lombard) and turns her into the glamorous and successful stage diva Lily Garland. Jaffe does not only control every step Lily gives on stage literally, he also controls her personal life, where she goes and who she meets, in short, she doesn’t know freedom. One day she gets tired and leaves to Hollywood, damaging Jaffe’s career, but he won’t miss a chance to persuade her to come back when he realizes they’re on the same Twentieth Century train on their way back to New York. But this is a hard task! Lily doesn’t long to see her former partner and would never agree to sign a contract that would expose herself to his demands once again.

I don’t know if the fact the acting in the film is quite theatrical has anything to do with silent movies being not so far behind, since it could have been done on purpose due to Jaffe’s personality (his life and career has no boards). I find it quite amusing.

14 Comments to “>Twentieth Century (1934)”

  1. >Romeika, vc estava certa, me desculpe o erro, vc tem 3 pontos no Memorabilia. Já corrigido!

  2. >Oooh, I adore Carole Lombard. These films never get old.

  3. >Cassiano,sem problemas!The clothes: Exactly, these are classic films.

  4. >Romeika, nunca assisti nenhum filme do Howard Hawks, mas achei a premissa de "Twentieth Century" muito legal. E imagino a sensação que dá assistir a um filme assim no cinema.

  5. >Nossa, ela é mesmo ótima!Mil beijinhos!!!

  6. >it is the movie starring hilary swank. it's based on the book Freedom Writers – apparently the whole movie is a very accurate portrayal of their stories. it was so motivational!

  7. >I'm so into old black and white movies at the moment.

  8. >CARACA! Você viu o filme no cinema?????? Que orgulho! E que inveja!!!!!Bjs!

  9. >Kamila, o filme eh engracado, fora q a historia da personagem da Carole parece saida de uma biografia de uma das muitas starlets da Hollywood do star system.Otavio, eh q estao exibindo uma mostra com filmes da Carole Lombard na cinemateca este mes. Pena q o cinema eh superlonge, senao teria visto mais filmes. Espero poder ver mais um outro. Bjs!

  10. >i will check it out later!

  11. >Never saw one but, by your post, it's looks as if to be one of those films wich the cinema today so much needs to be like for a little remenisence or, for that matter, just good quality.Ciao!

  12. >I think it might have been super theatrical because that's where Barrymore and his family basically earned their chops. Plus, until Method acting came along in the 50s, most delivery styles were *very* unnatural–which I'm sure you know, being such a movie fan!!

  13. >Wally, exactly. A good story, good acting, good laugh.Ambika, I knew about the second thing, but had no idea about this detail regarding all Barrymore actors:-)

  14. >LOL this is so funny! I love how they both enunciate their words and their facial expressions were classic! You dont see that anymore! Love all the theatrics!

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