Twentieth Century

Synopsis: Broadway director Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore) is a bigger ham than most actors, but through sheer drive and talent he is able to build a successful career. When one of his discoveries, Lily Garland (Carole Lombard), rises to stardom and heeds the call of Hollywood, Oscar begins a career slide. He hits the skids and seems on his way out, until he chances to meet Lily again, on a train ride aboard the Twentieth Century Limited. Oscar pulls out all the stops to re-sign his former star, but it's a battle... because Lily, who is as temperamental as Oscar is, wants to have nothing to do with her former mentor.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Howard Hawks
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

But, Daddy, you all know Michael loves me

and I love him.

"You can't call that a sin,

his feelings for me."

That' s where my brother breaks in,

Mr. Jacobs.

All right, where is Mr. Johnson?

- He's outside taking a smoke.

- Joe, go get him, will you?

Everybody be on your toes.

Mr. Jaffe's taking rehearsal today.

All right, skip that part, Miss Plotka.

Go to the place where you hear your father

has just killed Michael.

Come on, make your entrance.

"Mary Jo, where are you all, Mary Jo?"

"What is it, Emmy Lou?"

"Your father just met Michael.

He's out there on the lawn."

"Emmy Lou, what are we going to do?"

- You hear a shot.

- Two shots, isn't it, Mr. Jacobs?


"Oh, Lordy, Miss Mary Jo.

Your daddy just killed Mr. Michael."

That' s where I scream.

There's going to be a lot of screaming

around here, young lady...

and it isn't going to be by you, either.

But you said we were just walking through.

- I know we were walking through...

- Max.

All right, go ahead, everybody.

Go through it again.


Now that Hoboken Cinderella

isn't going to do.

That kind of acting is for pins

in a basement.

You're telling me.

She's hopeless, and the worst of it

is that Jaffe's going to blame me...

for the fact that a lingerie model

hasn't turned out to be a Bernhardt.

The more you direct her, the worse she gets.

Max, which one of these foul guinea hens

is named Lily Garland?

Not so loud, Owen.

We're discussing something.

Listen, you foul Corsican,

these are orders from on high.

I just encountered Mr. Jaffe in the lobby,

all of a twitter.

- Is he here?

- Yes, he's here...

and he wants her pulsing life story

trumpeted through the press...

by tomorrow morning.

Where is the little baggage?

Who are you talking about?

Lily Garland, you business giant.

There's nobody of that name

connected with the organization.

And please, don't come around here

when you've been drinking.

- It doesn't make for discipline.

- Isn't that too bad?

Call the roll. Lily Garland, front and center.

Come on now, fess up. Which one of you

pretty witches is named Lily Garland?

Say, what is this wall of silence,

a conspiracy?

Maybe you got the name wrong.

Where's the phone? I can still hear, can't I?

No, the master spoke with his usual clarity.

Hello, Myrtle, put the wizard on the wire.

He's in the sanctum.

I'll tell him you wish to speak to him.

I don't wish to be interrupted now,

Miss Schultz.

Mr. O'Malley.

I don't want to talk to you now, Owen.

I gave you your orders. Carry them out.

Yes, Lily Garland. She's on the stage.

She is, is she?

Send me down your ouija board

and I'll try and get in touch with her.

Can't you carry out your orders?

Say, listen, sire, there's only one blonde

roosting on this foul stage.

You, with the legs, what' s your name?

Mildred Plotka.

She claims her name is Mildred Plotka.

That' s her.

I forgot to tell you with all the other things

on my mind.

Her old name didn't seem suitable.

I changed it to Lily Garland.

Tell Mr. Jacobs he has exactly three minutes

to get everyone assembled.

I'm coming right down.

Yes, sire.

- What is it? What' s the matter?

- Hold your bonnets.

The all-highest is on his way down

amid a shower of meteors.

Thank you, child.

- Good morning, Mr. Jaffe.

- Good morning.

Well, O.J., welcome to our midst.

I don't like anyone chewing gum

on the stage, Oliver. Spit it out, please.

- Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

- Good morning, sir.

Sit down, please.

I have been looking forward

to this little occasion for some time.

There's no thrill in the world

Rate this script:4.0 / 2 votes

Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht (1894–1964) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist. A journalist in his youth, he went on to write thirty-five books and some of the most entertaining screenplays and plays in America. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some seventy films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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