Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Twentieth Century (1934)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Twentieth Century (1934)

In Howard Hawks' first screwball comedy:

  • the blustery, self-parodying performance of John Barrymore as theatre director Oscar Jaffe ("OJ") and his Pygmalion-like transformation of showgirl Mildred Plotka (Carole Lombard) into an accomplished serious actress and stage leading lady newly named Lily Garland by alternating humiliation (at one point, pointedly chalking lines on the set to stress where her marks were) and relentlessly engaging in long rehearsals with encouragement and devotion
  • their stormy relationship that led to their breakup and her moving to Hollywood to become a star
  • Jaffe's repeated line: "I close the iron door on you!"
  • the many attempts by Jaffe to get Lily to sign a theatre contract with him while both were riding the Twentieth Century cross-country passenger train, finally succeeding by pretending to be dying of a heart attack


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