Twentieth Century

Director: Howard Hawks
Year Released: 1934
Rating: 2.0

Broadway egomaniac and control freak (John Barrymore, looking more like a drunken Einstein) makes Carole Lombard his young protégé only to lose her to Hollywood and have his subsequent plays bomb; predictably, the two find themselves on the title train from Chicago to New York, and he and his cronies try to convince her to come back to him. Now, I don't know what most people consider "screwball comedy," but this is more of a glorified shouting match than anything, with Barrymore and Lombard each actively trying to burst blood vessels in their eyes (I had the same problem with Mel Brooks' The Producers). Though watching Barrymore act like a buffoon is charming in the beginning, it quickly becomes unnerving; likewise, the wit found in some of Hecht and MacArthur's other screenplays doesn't seem to be at a premium here.