When I posted that photo of Carole Lombard the other day, I suddenly realized I haven’t talked about one of my very favorite screwball comedies, the hilarious Twentieth Century (1934). The plot, if you can keep up with it, goes as follows: John Barrymore plays Oscar Jaffe, a Broadway empresario, who is as crazy as a box of cats. He casts the lovely Lily Garland (Carole Lombard) in his newest show, which turns out to be a huge success, making Lily an overnight sensation. The hits keep coming in and, after a few months, she decides to board the 20th Century train headed for Hollywood. She becomes a big movie star as quickly as she’d become a big Broadway star. Jaffe, on the other hand, keeps producing flop after flop. As a result, he decides to get on the 20th Century and get Lily back. By pure coincidence, she boards the train with her boyfriend in Chicago the same night. And as you can probably imagine, it is going to be the craziest train ride you will ever see in a movie.
Directed by Howard Hawks, Twentieth Century is a classic screwball comedy, absolutely hilarious and absolutely insane. John Barrymore gives arguably the best performance of his career and one of the funniest of all time and Carole Lombard is amazing, as always. I saw this on the big screen and it was a marvellous experience. The theatre was packed and everybody loved it. I cannot recommend it enough.