Monday, June 13, 2011

Carole Takes the Train

Some time ago, we did a Carole Lombard film festival. There were a few movies we didn't get to see because we couldn't lay hands on them, but we finally got a copy of 1934's Twentieth Century, a delightful comedy in which Carole trades tirades with John Barrymore. Would be actress Mildred Plotka (Carole Lombard) comes under the spell of producer/director Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore).  Their professional partnership results in a name change (to Lily Garland) for Mildred, as well as fame and fortune to them both UNTIL yet another fight results in a rift that drives Oscar into near bankruptcy. His solution - woo Lily back into his latest play, featuring her as Mary Magdalene.  As they say, high-jinx ensue.

This is a very funny movie, but it is LOUD.  Neither Oscar nor Lily believe in talking - they scream, screech, yell, bellow, cry, but they NEVER just talk. Much of this movie resembles an old fashioned farce, with lots of noise, slamming doors and just generally weird characters. Some good character actors here - including Walter Connolly as the much put-upon Oliver Webb (Oscar's favorite hobby is firing poor Oliver), as well as Oscar's other aide Owen O'Malley played with gusto by Roscoe Karns,  Of course, one really does want to see Barrymore and Lombard together, as they duel endlessly.  And then, there is Oscar's oft repeated line "I close the iron door..."  Here's a little montage of the action:

Our thanks to Carole and Co. blog for mentioning our efforts here. It was just a coincidence that we had another Carole movie in the pipeline.  We hope to find a few more.  In the meantime, we also hope for some other fine performances down the road.

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