Twentieth Century

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Howard Hawks

REVIEWED: 07-27-98

I discovered this film a few years back when it played at the Paramount. I went because ... well ... I don't know. I've never been a Carole Lombard fan, nor a John Barrymore fan. In fact, it was probably because my best friend at the time was a devout Edgar Kennedy follower and well ... he made me go. Ooooooh, the agoooooony!!! (That's ironic humor, baby.) This film was a revelation. Both Lombard and Barrymore are so, so very good that you'll wanna cry. "I close the iron door on you." You'll go around for years saying this to anyone whom you want to go away. You'll say it while giving them a stiff arm to get out of your way. You'll say it with a wild insane look in your eye. And you'll say it because it is useless to resist. I didn't realize going into the theatre that Howard Hawks, fave director of The Thing, Red River, Sergeant York, Bringing Up Baby, and on and on and on, was involved. Here he is directing with the broadest possible strokes and, wow, what paints he has, among them Ben Hecht, screenwriting god of Stagecoach, Scarface, Kiss of Death, Gunga Din. Go see it. Now.

--Harry Knowles

Other Films by Howard Hawks
His Girl Friday

Film Vault Suggested Links
Breakfast of Champions
Man of the Century
The Alarmist

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