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Carole Lombard Double Feature: TWENTIETH CENTURY, 1934, Sony Repertory, 91 min. Dir. Howard Hawks. The granddaddy of all screwballs, as egomaniacal Broadway producer John Barrymore makes a star of shopgirl Carole Lombard (as this picture did in real life), then goes berserk trying to win her back after she leaves him. Totally uncompromising in every respect, this is a flat-out masterpiece. Hecht and MacArthur’s blistering script is marvelously made flesh by the two stars, as well as Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Charles Lane, Edgar Kennedy and Etienne Girardot.
TRUE CONFESSION, 1937, Universal, 85 min. Director Wesley Ruggles helmed this rarely screened screwball comedy. Pathological liar Carole Lombard tries to boost the career of her scrupulously honest (and thus unsuccessful) lawyer husband (Fred MacMurray) by confessing to a murder so he can defend her. John Barrymore is an egotistical opportunist who tries to blackmail her, with hilarious results. “Lombard is in full command of her daffy talent, dominating a number of long, virtuoso takes. One scene with slow-burning cop Edgar Kennedy is like a master class in comic timing.” – Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine