A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Oscar Jaffe is a successful Broadway director; Lily Garland, one of his stars. But when she leaves his direction, his success goes with her. When he recognizes her aboard the Twentieth Century Limited, the train that both of them are riding, he tries to get her back for a new show. But accomplishing that feat isn't as simple as he had thought.
This movie is so last century
Yes, Carole Lombard is pretty funny as well, but Barrymore blows everything away, as the showboating giant he is. Nothing is left when he's done with it, be that support cast, scenery, script or anything else. He tears it all down, and eats the rest.
Napoleon of Broadway is brought to the silver screen with ease, and only the opening scene feels stagey. The rest is a glorious ham-fest of epic, over acted proportions.
That's 0 for 3 for me in my search for true screwballs this week, in the vein of The Awful Truth, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story etc.
I obviously don't know what I'm doing when picking the "right" ones out.
I need help.....
Stage and screen legend John Barrymore was a great many things - not least a lush - but above all he was a ham. Who better, then, to portray Oscar Jaffe, the egomaniacal theatrical impresario who manipulates the lives of all around him as he tries to get back on top, and reclaim the affections of the monster he created: actress Lily Garland (Carole Lombard), the diva to end all divas and the only person who can rival him for histrionics. The film was adapted from a New York hit by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, two writers with an unmatched ability for evoking the world of American theatre at its height ("I'll slit my throat," threatens Jaffe; "If you…
In Twentieth Century, the obvious concern is the reams and reams of dialogue, and the unyielding emotional hostility communicated by that dialogue. Barrymore and Lombard are having a blast diving into one of the most extreme versions of the Director-Actress relationship I’ve seen. But this is a comedy, not The Red Shoes, and Hawks characteristically appropriates this mythic archetype for endless deflation, surrounding the whirlwind relationship with exasperated sidekicks–the abused producers and assistants, the train employees, the relatively sane lover–and rendering ridiculous the idea of drama itself. This is an idea that probably could have originated at the script level, of anchoring the central relationship with people who are reluctantly drawn into the vortex of drama. But Hawks gives…
It says something about the quality of Hawks best films that this amazing film doesnt quite make my top five of his. It seems to combine the approaches of Hawks and the writer Ben Hecht extremely well while also being tailor made for John Barrymore.
It has incredibly funny incidental moments, Barrymore's camel impression, a good 65% of the several thousand lines Roscoe Karns machine guns out, the chalk lines but it's not a whole heartedly funny movie, there is a rich sadness to Barrymore's ham and a genuine bitterness to his relationship with Lombard, a real end of their tether feel to the way Karns and Connolly are tied to the sinking Barrymore. A darkness that isn't there in…
So. Much. Yelling. I find this kind of continuous hysteria funnier now than on first high school viewing, when it was kind of terrifying, but it's a lot to take. The image that stuck with me from then and which still seems emblematic, is John Barrymore throwing a can of black paint onto a wall out of sheer frustration, watching as it drips down and totally takes over the frame. If you can't make a point quietly, try the visual equivalent of a punch to the jaw.
There's a sonic deadness to the early scenes in the theater, but this comes alive on the train, which allows for continuous ambient chugging. Cf. the sound of planes in transit in Air Force.
This movie is so last century
This film loses a lot of steam* after the first act.
How do you define a great performance? For me, in this case, it's one that won me over despite my being ready to ditch the movie in the first 20 minutes because it was so over the top. But it grabbed me by both lapels (as many of the characters seem to do to each other) and by the end had me laughing out loud, several times, alone at home, which is something I almost never never do, and wishing it would go on just a little bit longer.
John Barrymore gives one of the hammiest performances I've ever seen on film, but the brilliant thing is he's playing the quintessential ham, so it's a brilliant performance of…
I preferred the musical version, which allows Mildred/Lily to have both more depth and more agency. The story also works better with flashbacks than completely linear, some of the comic verve leaves the piece when you spend the first fifteen minutes watching Oscar teach Mildred how to scream.
Terrific screwball comedy. Barrymore is electric.
Fun movie that moves in circle that a knew it would from the start, but thats perfectly okay
cinema peaked in 1934 when howard hawks released the ultimate masterpiece "twentieth century."
insider look at the world of theater which was then movies greatest competitor Barrymore & lombard r gr8 together too
Perfect staging, composition, and framing. An absolute masterclass of directing. Crackerjack comedy that plays to the strengths of John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. A must see.
From his book Essential Cinema.
A huge thanks to everyone who added films, helped me find films with alternate titles,…