Twentieth Century 03/16/21
Often identified as the first screwball comedy, Howard Hawks’ film is too funny and too original to be pigeonholed. Ace writers Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s wickedly witty dialogue zingers bulldoze us with a constant flow of deadpan one-liners and arcane classical allusions. Viewers who relate John Barrymore only to Grand Hotel will be surprised to see his magnificently overplayed theatrical ham. As his emotionally spoiled star performer, the beautiful Carole Lombard is almost as manic. Immortal dialogue: “I close the iron door on you.” Co-starring Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Charles Lane & Etienne Girardot. Reviewed by Charlie Largent, on Region B Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.