My Man Godfrey
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My Man Godfrey is one of the top Screwball Comedies of all time. The story of a wealthy New York family in the 1930's that brings in Godfrey, a destitute and Forgotten Man as their butler. William Powell plays the leading role brilliantly, and gives the family a madcap ride they will never forget. My Man Godfrey was the first film to receive Oscar® nominations in all four acting categories, including stunning performances by William Powell and Carole Lombard. Presented in color for the first time and beautifully restored, this is the definitive DVD edition of My Man Godfrey.
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The epitome of the 1930's gentleman!
Godfrey starts in this film, derelict, and penny-less. Finds himself adopted in the ridiculing party game of the elite.
He is ushered in to be a part of a scavenger hunt, the wealthy play a game with people's hearts. However, this back-fired on this one un-seemingly simple wealthy gal who fell in-love with Godfrey.
It's the kind of movie you want to see, to show exactly how beautiful, how exciting, and how fun life was back in the golden-age of cinema!
If you've not met William Powell in film yet, I feel so saddened, and dismayed that you have missed so much!
If you have met William Powell, this is a MUST-ADD to your collections!
Humor mixed with serious issues. Respect and responsibility are two of the main themes - which seem simple until you remember that the depression was hitting the world pretty hard at the time. How can men living in the dump have respect? How can men living in the upper levels of wealth have responsibility? What do you do when you live on the streets and know the rich have everything and more? What do you do when you have money and see homeless people starving?
A wonderful film and piece of history. If you liked it, or at least liked Mr. Powell, I would also suggest The Complete Thin Man Collection (The Thin Man / After the Thin Man / Another Thin Man / Shadow of the Thin Man / The Thin Man Goes Home / Song of the Thin Man / Alias Nick and Nora).
There are many things to praise in this film, but most of it centers upon the cast. I can't imagine any actor more perfect for the title role than William Powell, and despite his long and extremely distinguished career Powell's turn as Godfrey was, in my opinion, the highpoint of his career. As great as Powell is, Carole Lombard just might be better. She was, in my opinion, the greatest screen comedienne there has ever been. No actress was in as many screwball classics as Lombard. And she had the great fortune to be as beautiful as she was talented. As good as Powell and Lombard are, however, they are matched scene for scene by a number of superlative character actors and actresses. Alice Brady is hysterical as the mother of the family. Ironically, she was the widow of Flo Ziegfield, and earlier in 1936, the year MY MAN GODFREY was released, William Powell starred as her husband in that year's Oscar winning film, THE GREAT ZIEGFIELD. If you watch this film several times, as I have, one of the ongoing delights is Brady's frequent inane utterances. Mischa Auer, who plays Alice Brady's protégé, steals nearly every scene he is in, and does perhaps the most hysterical imitation of a monkey in the history of film. Eugene Pallette is one of my all-time favorite character actors. Along with his turn as Friar Tuck in the Errol Flynn version of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD and his role as Henry Fonda's father in THE LADY EVE, this is my favorite Pallette role. As the long suffering family patriarch, Pallette provides a degree of sanity to what is otherwise one of the most insane film families one is ever likely to encounter. The rest of the cast is also as strong as one could hope.
A mark of how strong the cast was is the fact that despite a profound bias against comedy in 1930s Oscar nominations (and, indeed, in all decades, the persistent preference being given to more serious films), MY MAN GODFREY managed acting nominations in all four acting categories (Powell, Lombard, Auer, and Brady). Unbelievably, neither Lombard, widely regarded as the greatest comic actress in the history of film, nor Powell ever won an Oscar.
The script is strong, with many, many very fine jokes and comic scenes. The film is slightly dated by what we in the early 21st century would regard as naïve optimism in regard to social problems, but that is also part of the film's charm. It would be nice if we today could recover some of that naïveté, if we could believe that people were motivated less by greed and more by higher values.
This is not just a must see film. It is a must see over and over. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Most recent customer reviews
I love the character arc of Godfrey but Irene! Oh, Irene... What the heck kind of character is that?Read more