Probably saw this too long ago to remember but this was an entirely new experience anyway, so what does it matter! Everything about this one—choreography, costuming, score, staging—is so fun and lively and set in constant motion. Mid-century filmmaking gimmicks, the language of dance, and Hollywood's own version of the backstage comedy all work to capture the spirit of a slippery Shakespeare comedy in fresh terms, though much of the original sexist material remains regrettably untouched by any kind of…
Twentieth Century is now my most-logged film on Letterboxd, and I finally committed my many feelings about the film to words over on Garbo Talks. Among the many complex webs it weaves, the film gives us a full-bodied characterization of an artist disturbed, which John Barrymore throws himself into with all the nimble discipline of a life lived in the theatre and the reckless abandon of the devil. It’s one of his greatest cinematic triumphs, and it’s one of the greatest films ever made about the divine madness of theatre folk.