20th Century

Howard Hawks filming Twentieth Century (1934) with Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard had an unremarkable career before being cast opposite John Barrymore in Howard Hawks’ Twentieth Century (1934), his second film for Columbia Studios, after The Criminal Code (1931).

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20th Century

Carole Lombard on the set of Twentieth Century with Hawks and co-star John Barrymore.

Howard Hawks with Carole Lombard and John Barrymore, stars of his Twentieth Century (1934).

20th Century

Howard Hawks filming Twentieth Century (1934) with Carole Lombard and John Barrymore.

20th Century

Howard Hawks directing Carole Lombard in Twentieth Century (1934), the film that made her a superstar and the leading actress of screwball comedies of the 30s.  Her other classics are My Man Godfrey and Nothing Sacred.

20th Century

Howard Hawks in the director’s chair on the set of Twentieth Century (1934) with star Carole Lombard and two unidentified females dressed rather manly.

20th Century

johnsidneybarrymore: “Carole Lombard, John Barrymore, & director, Howard Hawks, on the set of Twentieth Century (1934). ”

Howard Hawks with the stars of 20th Century (1934), Carole Lombard and John Barrymore.

20th Century

John Barrymore in a publicity still for Twentieth Century

John Barrymore as stage director Oscar Jaffe in Twentieth Century (1934), his greatest performance in the sound era.  John was one of the biggest stars of the silent era, was known as The Great Profile, starring in action, romance and drama, but his film career was largely undistinguished.  He was also well cast in the all star Grand Hotel (1932), and as the second male lead in Billy Wilder’s Midnight (1939).

20th Century

Carole Lombard and John Barrymore in a publicity still for Twentieth Century (1934), Howard Hawks’ first film for Columbia Studios.  Howard would work at every major studio throughout his career, never making more than three in a row at any one studio.

20th Century

Signed photo on the set of Twentieth Century from John Barrymore to Carole Lombard

John Barrymore autographed a publicity still for Carole Lombard from their work together on Twentieth Century (1934).  Carole’s career had been floundering until her big break with Howard Hawks.  After working with Hawks and Barrymore, Carole became the biggest comedienne in Hollywood until her untimely death in 1942.

20th Century

Carole Lombard cramps three visitors (her new boyfriend and two of her old boyfriend’s minions)  into her small cabin on board the Twentieth Century (1934), the fanciest rail transportation at the time.

20th Century

Mildred Plotka becomes a big star after changing her name to Lily Garland in Twentieth Century (1934), and developing a massive case of divaitis along the way.

20th Century

Oscar Jaffe with his minions on board the Twentieth Century (1934).  It was Howard Hawks’ first comedy, and demonstrated the versatility that characterized his career.  By 1934 Hawks had also distinguished himself in the gangster genre with Scarface, the action genre with The Dawn Patrol, and drama with The Criminal Code.  It would take him until 1948, though, to make a western masterpiece, with Red River.

20th Century

 

Carole Lombard and John Barrymore as Lily Garland and Oscar Jaffe in Twentieth Century (1934)

Oscar Jaffe, the hammy and narcissistic stage producer, and his leading lady Lily Garland in Twentieth Century (1934).

20th Century

John Barrymore and Carole Lombard are a perfect pair in Twentieth Century (1934).  Howard Hawks demonstrated here how he was able to create an enduring screen persona for the biggest Hollywood stars whom he would continue to showcase throughout his career.

20th Century

Carole Lombard as Lily Garland in Twentieth Century (1934), her first classic screwball comedy.