Today! Because I wouldn’t wipe my feet on him if he were starving, and I hope he is –
Twentieth Century (1934)
Directed by Howard Hawks
Starring John Barrymore (x2), Carole Lombard (x5), Walter Connolly (x2), Roscoe Karns, Charles Lane (x2), Edgar Kennedy (x2), Ralph Forbes (x2), Etienne Girardot, Dale Fuller, Billie Seward
The fifth and final Lombard to make the list, and the one that made her a star, Twentieth Century hits that sweet spot of mine being a movie about plays and also tangentially about movies, replete with ridiculous over-the-top theater people delivering headspinning dialogue from Oscar winners Ben Hecht and Scranton’s own Charles MacArthur. This movie is also directly responsible for the inclusion of the later Lombard flick True Confession – as that movie reunited this film’s stars, largely because Barrymore was falling on hard times and she insisted he get cast, a move that elevated the picture above her more standard light comedy of that time.
Fun, contentious on-screen pair!
Today! Because we switched a whole study course from the menace of Communism to the inspiration of Hazel Flagg –
Nothing Sacred (1937)
Directed by William Wellman
Starring Carole Lombard (x3), Fredric March (x2), Walter Connolly, Charles Winninger, Sig Ruman (x2), Frank Fay, Margaret Hamilton, Maxie Rosenbloom, Charles Lane, Sidney Kibrick, Hattie McDaniel (x2), Hedda Hopper, Jinx Falkenburg, Billy Barty
The movie that kicked off my 2018 marathon of every existing Carole Lombard feature (all 42 of them), Nothing Sacred inspired this endeavor by functioning as the purest example of Lombard-led screwballery. The other (spoiler alert) four Lombard films on this list all feature an equally effective leading man performance, be it Fred MacMurray or Jack Benny or William Powell, but Fredric March is just big name window dressing in this all-out Lombard vehicle. She plays small-town Hazel Flagg, incorrectly diagnosed with a rapidly terminal illness, who is quickly whisked away to New York City by an unaware, enterprising reporter hot for a human interest story. Hazel can’t help but get caught up in the attention and glamour, and obvious issues arise when more and more people find out about this deception.
It’s a real rock ’em sock ’em affair