Thursday, 18 December 2014

Twentieth Century

Dir: Howard Hawkes
Starring: John Barrymore, Carole Lombard

Narry Borman loves this film. He also loves Carole Lombard to whom he was once married in a brief period before her engagement to Clark Gable. Those were the days...swanning about on the French Riviera, just me and Mrs. Lombard-Borman. What bliss. All that ended when the big oaf Clark Gable with his handsome face and imposing physique came on the scene. But I'll have my revenge... I'll write a scathing review of Gone With The Wind... "Top Work"... I think not. Try "Good" on for size. Ha!

Both Carole and John B seem to be at their peak in this film. Lombard transforms from a confidence-less lingerie model to the darling of Hollywood during the space of 90 minutes, and yet retains the honesty and playfulness she's known for - the scene where she rapidly kicks her feet out at Oscar Jaffe is particularly endearing.

John Barrymore is brilliantly over-theatrical. For both characters, every moment spent with other people is another scene that they must act out - when Lily leaves Oscar, for example, Jaffe's reaction is utterly dramatic and shakespearian.

Twentieth Century is also damn near perfect in terms of scripting too. It's a sharp comedy full of literary references, depth, and quotable lines ("I close the iron door on you").

Go watch it.

Rating: Top Work

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