My Man Godfrey, (1936) starring William Powell and Carole Lombard
movie review of “My Man Godfrey” – one of the great screwball comedies of the 20th century. It stars Carole Lombard as the spoiled rich girl. William Powell co-stars as Godfrey, the “forgotten man” with a secret past … A hilarious and touching, a must-see film!
Product description of My Man Godfrey (1936)
My Man Godfrey is one of the top Screwball Comedies of all time. It’s the story of a wealthy New York family in the 1930’s that brings in Godfrey. He’s 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.
Editorial review of My Man Godfrey, (1936) starring William Powell and Carole Lombard, courtesy of Amazon.com
Director Gregory La Cava deftly balances satire, romance, and social comment in this 1936 classic, which echoes Frank Capra in its Depression-era subtext. The Bullocks are a well-heeled, harebrained Manhattan family genetically engineered for screwball collisions: father Alexander (Eugene Pallette, of the foghorn voice and thick-knit eyebrows) is the breadwinner at wit’s end, thanks to his spoiled daughters, the sultry Cornelia (Gail Patrick) and the sweet but scatterbrained Irene (a luminous Carole Lombard), his dizzy and doting wife, Angelica (Alice Brady), and her “protégé”, Italian freeloader Carlo (Mischa Auer).
When Irene wins a society scavenger hunt (and atypically trumps her scheming sister) by producing a “lost man“, a seeming tramp named Godfrey (William Powell), all their lives are transformed. With the always suave, effortlessly funny Powell in the title role, this mystery man provides the film’s conscience and its model of decency; the giddy, passionate Lombard holds out its model for triumphant love. In a movie riddled with memorable comic highlights, the real miracle is the unapologetic romanticism that prevails. —Sam Sutherland
Cast of characters
- William Powell (I Love You Again) … Godfrey
- Carole Lombard (Topper Returns) … Irene Bullock
- Alice Brady (Joy of Living) … Angelica Bullock
- Gail Patrick (Stage Door) … Cornelia Bullock
- Eugene Pallette (The Kennel Murder Case) … Alexander Bullock
- Jean Dixon (Holiday) … Molly
- Alan Mowbray (Panama Hattie) … Tommy Gray
- Mischa Auer (You Can’t Take It With You) … Carlo
- Pat Flaherty (Sergeant York) … Mike Flaherty
- Robert Light … Faithful George
Trivia for My Man Godfrey (1936), starring William Powell and Carole Lombard
- This was the first film to ever receive four acting nominations at the Academy Awards. And it did so in the year that the supporting categories were introduced.
- A stand-in was used when William Powell carries Carole Lombard over his shoulder up the stairs to her bedroom.
- This is the only movie to ever get Oscar nominations for writing, directing and all four acting awards without being nominated for Best Picture. It’s also the only movie to ever get those six nominations and lose them all.
- Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” in 2006.
- Stars William Powell and Carole Lombard had been divorced for three years by the time they made this. When offered the part Powell declared that the only actress right for the part of Irene was Lombard.
- Mischa Auer’s character Carlo repeatedly sings “Ochi Chornya” in this movie. Nine years later in And Then There Were None his character begins playing it on the piano …
- Based on the book ‘1101 Park Avenue’ by Eric Hatch.
- Carole Lombard had a habit of inserting swear words into the dialogue and had re-film several scenes due to this.
- The Character of Irene Bullock is in her late teens; Carole Lombard’ in actuality was 28.
- William Powell suggested his ex-wife Carole Lombard for the leading role. His real life romance with Lombard had been much the same as it was for the characters.