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.
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.....
This movie is so last century
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…
Combining his own signature energy with strokes of Sturges' social awareness, Howard Hawks crafts a portrait of shameless egotism. The two leads portray conceited celebrates; Barrymore as a madcap theatrical producer, and Lombard as his (likely) bi-polar ex-star. The result is a rapid-paced screwball-comedy with aspects of absurdity mixed into into the supporting characters, including an elderly lunatic obsessively spreading religious propaganda around the train (where a majority of the film unfolds).
Barrymore is delightfully over the top as he screeches and scrabbles in hysterics. It's a performance built on relentless exuberance, as the indefatigable Barrymore strives desperately to bring laughter to the screen. In any other film Lombard would've taken the spotlight, but by the time she arrived on…
Barrymore's narcissistic theater director makes art out of mugging, but Hawks' characteristic staginess turns this ninety minute lark into a protracted affair.
Great early Hawks film with a terrific duo in the leading roles, John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. Lombard in particular has impressed me every time I've seen her and her early death really was a tragedy. Hawks manages to get out good performances from the supporting cast as well, in particular the performance from Roscoe Karns as Owen was hilarious.
seen at Cinema Arts Centre (35mm)
a Summer Camp Cinema production
I started watching this a couple months ago and did not get past the first scene which had some nice bits but did not seem to be going anywhere and impatiently moved on a little doubtful of its rather lofty reputation. Trying it again in a more tranquil frame of mind I still thought the opening was a little slow and the whole process of setting up bits was not as fluid as in the best of the genre but one it gets going and the set ups start paying off it barrels along marvelously. The Great Profile is magnificent but nearly has the show stolen from him by Roscoe Karns who stands out in a first class cast of supporting actors.
Pygmalion et screwball, avec Barrymore sur la fin de sa carrière et Lombard à ses débuts, un jeu impeccable de bout en bout, dans un mariage heureusement forcé des genres. Hawks avait l'habitude de dire que de ses films celui-ci était son plus abouti et il avait bien raison. La lumière, la mise en scène, sont complètement à l'écoute du jeu des comédiens (ce qu'on ne peut pas tant dire de His Girl Friday, par exemple, qui met souvent de l'avant le jeu par sa passivité). C'est aussi un film où la majorité des thèmes qui l'intéressent se retrouvent, tous à un moment ou à un autre (le couple, l'acteur, le crime, la dernière minute), au coeur de la même…
John Barrymore totally ruined this film for me. I love him in dramatic roles but, to me, he just doesn't seem like he belongs in screwball comedy. His performance is SO overblown here, it's almost painful to watch.
Carole Lombard is an absolute gem, as always. She saves this movie for me.
This movie is so last century
This film loses a lot of steam* after the first act.
From his book Essential Cinema.
A huge thanks to everyone who added films, helped me find films with alternate titles,…
I don't usually post others' best-of/essential film compilations, since there are too many of them to keep track of, but…