Sunday, June 03, 2007

Man of the Century

I can't remember who recommended this one, but I'm glad somebody did. It's an odd little B&W movie about a guy named Johnny Twennies. Johnny appears to be living in the 1920s, even though he's living in the present day. He dresses in '20s clothes, shaves with a straight razor, uses '20s slang. He writes a column for a metropolitan daily, tapping it out on an old typewriter. His attitudes toward sex and dating are from a century ago.

None of this is explained. It just is. The rest of the screwball plot involves mobsters, Johnny's girlfriend, another girl who wants to be an opera singer, and things like that. Mostly, though, the movie is just strung-together bits, most of which I found very entertaining. The ending is right out of It's in the Bag.

Gibson Frazier plays Johnny. It's as if he's spent most of his life watching Warner Brothers movies about the '20s. Most of them with Bogart. His acting style is based on those movies, particularly Bogart's. Some of his lines are even stolen from Bogart movies, among others. Putting that style into a modern movie, where everyone else is from a different school, might seem odd, but it works just fine. If you're looking for something different, this is it. Check it out.


  1. Jeff Meyerson12:35 PM

    I never heard of it, but when I looked it up discovered it had been released as Man of the Century.

    And I was intrigued to see that co-star Cara Buono also stars in the new Cthulhu.

  2. She's good as a young woman with a crush on Johnny.

  3. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Another accomplished youngish woman, Ms. Buono, and better-looking than the unbloggable as well as not merely a waste of oxygen and protoplasm.

  4. But the unbloggable gets a lot more ink. She'd have been good as the floozy in the movie.

  5. I'm taking credit for recommending this one to you, Bill. I've seen this several times, and it's one of those movies I put on whenever I need a lift. It never fails to leave me feeling like a million bucks.

  6. Yep, you're the one. I remember now that I read about it on your fine blog.