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My Man Godfrey (The Criterion Collection)

4.4 out of 5 stars 494 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2001)
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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The definitive screwball comedy, My Man Godfrey follows the madcap antics of a wealthy and eccentric family when they hire a down-and-out "forgotten man" as their butler. My Man Godfrey features brilliant performances by Carole Lombard and William Powell, and was the first film to receive Academy Award® nominations in all four acting categories.

Additional Features

After years as a poster child for archival neglect, this 1936 screwball gem is restored to its original luster in Criterion's exemplary digital transfer, which yields nearly pristine imaging and a clearer soundtrack. Even the opening credits, combining miniatures, animation, and art deco type design to create a panorama of New York's riverfront, is a revelation after decades of poor transfers. Better yet, this edition restores a brief but crucial scene (a pivotal visit by Carole Lombard's Irene to "butler" Godfrey's service quarters) absent from most public domain-sourced versions. Extras include a thoughtful audio commentary by historian Bob Gilpin, a few outtakes, production stills, an original trailer, and the radio adaptation (which also featured stars Powell and Lombard)--modest extras when compared to those found on some modern DVDs, but substantial for a movie lensed more than six decades ago. For classics fans, this is nirvana. --Sam Sutherland

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, with restored image & sound
  • Rare outtakes
  • Production stills archive
  • The complete 1938 broadcast of the Lux Radio Theater adaptation, starring Powell and Lombard

Product Details

  • Actors: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette
  • Directors: Gregory La Cava
  • Writers: Gregory La Cava, Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind, Robert Presnell Sr., Zoe Akins
  • Producers: Charles R. Rogers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2001
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005EBSE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Man Godfrey (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At last, a good clean copy of this wonderful screwball romantic comedy! Much superior to the Hollywood Classics DVD which was washed-out and missing a key scene.
Well, this is just one of the best of the half-dozen or so top screwball comedies of the 30's. A dream cast plays it light and loose, with the real world of Depression-era America as a backdrop to a love story and a light lesson in responsibility, both to one's friends & family, to one's society, and to one's better nature.
And what a cast. William Powell is the epitome of debonair (what a quaint term: NO ONE is debonair anymore, alas)with one of the best comedic touches and timing in the business. Opposite Powell is Carole Lombard, young, adorable, beautiful and screwy and a perfect foil for Powell's smooth decorum. The supporting cast is first rate: Eugene Pallete the long-suffering businessman/husband; Gail Patrick, the beautiful but bitchy Cornelia; Mischa Auer's deadbeat Carlo; Alice Brady's clueless mother; Jean Dixon's wisecracking maid & Alan Mowbry as the rich & useless but decent Tommy Gray.
Enjoy comedy played by pros to a fare-thee-well. It's all attitude and delivery and body english and it is great! They can't make them like this anymore. Style and class.
The extras are quite good with a nice commentary track by Bob Gilpin and some hysterical outtakes (yes, they cussed back then too!). The print is pretty much clean and a vast improvement over previous editions.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For those of you lucky enough to know, or who propose to get to know, this flick, you've come to the right place. Amazon sells two DVD versions of My Man Godfrey. I've seen both, as well as the VHS, and this one, the least expensive, from a company called Platinum, is by far the best quality. The other DVD, by Madacy Entertainment, is a fiasco based on a terrible print that happens to also be missing a crucial scene. Why Amazon continues to sell it, I don't know.
4 Comments 107 of 114 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
The "First Time In Color" cover of MY MAN GODFREY from the Legend company is the very BEST-----better than the Criterion version, believe it or not---in part, because on Legend you choose to watch color or black and white. In fact, the Legend version is just tremendous and even the color version is miles ahead of the old colorization processes of the 1980s. But you do not see this information ANYWHERE except at the very end because Amazon has loaded up all these ancient and out of date reviews of OTHER PRODUCTS---not the one listed and shown in the picture. It is terrible confusing. Luckily, I did order a copy of the Legend version with color and B&W and was thrilled, but you might never figure it out based on the utterly confusing mess of reviews of all sorts of different versions mushed together in the same place here.__________
I had seen this film at least twice over the years and thought it pretty good but came across this 2005 remastered version from LEGEND films. I was astonished. It is wonderfully crisp and fresh in it appearance and tripled my appreciation of it. Also, I am not one of those hidebound purists who think computer colorization is an absolute horror. Done well---and this one is done VERY well indeed--it can add a new freshness and insight to its watching. (Granted, it is not the same work of art of its original creators, but one can choose freely between the two versions, as it should be.) I found that by tweaking the color manually and altering the brightness and contrast slightly, with a hint greater saturation, one can get a superb if just slightly antiquey color. Not exactly full Technicolor (it never was--originally filmed in black and white) but a surprisingly great color experience.
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9 Comments 66 of 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
If you're reading this review, you know that this is one of the greatest screwball comedies ever to come out of Hollywood, so we'll concentrate on the bargain price of the Legend Films release of this wonderful movie.

Since the beginning of DVDs, the only copy worth owning of My Man Godfrey was the very pricey Criterion copy. Not all movie-loving folks can feel comfortable divying up 35 bucks and more for their favorite films. So like myself, they were disappointed time-and-again by spending hard-earned cash on washed out, horrible public domain DVD prints, all the while wanting to own a nice, clean, audible copy of My Man Godfrey.

Over the past few years, Legend Films has been releasing classic black-and-white films in colorized versions (this will always gall movie purists; I too have always sworn off colorized black-and-white films).

On the flip side of the coin, Legend Films deserves a huge thumbs-up! for releasing BOTH the original Black-and-White version, as well as the Colorized print, of these classic movies. And Legend Films is not just Colorizing films, they are restoring them, as well. What this means for movie hungry fans like you and I, is that we are given a beautiful, almost pristine Black-and White print of some of our favorite movies at very reasonable prices, often much less than even the Hollywood studio companies are releasing on DVD. I've seen the Criterion version of My Man Godfrey, and yes, it is beautiful - I even own several Criterion films that I felt I couldn't live without - and I have to say that I see no real difference in the quality of the Black-and-White print included on the Legend Films version, versus the Criterion print. What is the difference, then, between a 35 dollar DVD from Criterion, and a $9.
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Which Studio Has Put Out the Clearest Picture Version of "Godfrey"?
The edition with the colourised version (released by Fox) has a very clean print. The disc also includes the original B&W version.

Aug 1, 2011 by Byron Kolln |  See all 4 posts
Why not available for Europe ?
This is a bit late since you asked the question, but region 2 (PAL) DVDs of this movie are available on Amazon (US). Search for item with ASIN # B0001U0HHA (Elstree Hill) and B0000X7SMK (Whe Europe). Also, you can find Region 2 DVDs on the Amazon.co.uk site too (ASIN # B0015MRM08 (Simply Media... Read More
Dec 1, 2013 by DCGUY |  See all 2 posts
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My Man Godfrey (The Criterion Collection)
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