| Comedy, Romance
A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career.
Howard Hawks had signed a three-picture deal with MGM in 1933 and claimed that he made this film at Columbia while on a "paid vacation" from the other studio. "I got Barrymore and Lombard and made the picture in three weeks' time," Hawks boasted to an interviewer. In truth, however, shooting continued through another week due to the director's habit of drilling his cast in their lines and demanding retakes to get the rapid-fire delivery he wanted. Twentieth Century was the first film in which Hawks pushed this technique to its limit - and a prime example of its effect, though it certainly can be seen in his later comedies.
Oliver, our troubles are over!
Oliver Webb: Oh, are they? Where are you going to get a quarter of a million dollars to produce a spectacle like that? By waving your magic wand?
Oscar Jaffe: Don't talk about money matters now, Oliver.
When Jaffe takes over direction, he addresses Lily by her new name and she responds, even though she hasn't heard it before. This gap was caused by the deletion of a brief scene in which O'Malley informs her that Jaffe has changed her name.