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Twentieth Century (movie)

Twentieth Century was the title of several incarnations of a screwball comedy plot featuring an egomaniacal Broadway producer who makes a shopgirl into a star, then tries to win her back after she abandons him. Most of the action takes place aboard the New York City-Chicago train known as The Twentieth Century Limited.

The plot first took form in Charles Bruce Millholland's play Napoleon of Broadway, based on his experiences working for the theater producer David Belasco. This was adapted by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur as the play Twentieth Century, which was produced and directed on Broadway in 1932 by George Abbott. (It was revived in 1950).

The play was adapted by Hecht and MacArthur (credited) and by Gene Fowler and Preston Sturges (uncredited) for Howard Hawks's 1934 film, Twentieth Century, which starred John Barrymore and Carole Lombard.

The movie was adapted for a musical, On the Twentieth Century, with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Cy Coleman, and directed by Hal Prince. It opened in 1978 and starred Imogene Coca, John Cullum, Madeline Kahn, and Kevin Kline.