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My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 6 September 1936 (USA)
A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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Tommy Gray
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Storyline

In the depths of the Depression, a party game brings dizzy socialite Irene Bullock to the city dump where she meets Godfrey, a derelict, and ends by hiring him as family butler. He finds the Bullocks to be the epitome of idle rich, and nutty as the proverbial fruitcake. Soon, the dramatizing Irene is in love with her 'protege'...who feels strongly that a romance between servant and employer is out of place, regardless of that servant's mysterious past... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al servicio de las damas  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$656,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Noiseless Recording Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

Godfrey is placing roses in a vase while ignoring Irene. In one shot, he has already placed five stems in the vase. The camera cuts away to the rest of the cast but when Godfrey is seen again, there is only one rose in the vase. See more »

Quotes

Godfrey: Hasn't anyone ever told you about certain proprieties?
Irene: You use such lovely big words. I like big words. What does it mean?
Godfrey: Well, I'll try to simplify it. Hasn't your mother or anyone ever explained to you that some things are proper and some things are not?
Irene: No she hasn't. She rambles on quite a bit, but then she never has anything to say.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits features a darkened city skyline and the names of the cast and crew appear as the camera pans across lighted billboards and neon signs. See more »

Connections

Featured in Native Son (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink a Highball
(1901) (uncredited)
Words and Music by G.B. Brigham
Sung a bit a cappella by William Powell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The butler did it!
13 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

"My Man Godfrey" successfully blends the two most prominent schools of film comedy from the 1930's: `sophistication' and `screwball.' It smears the conservative upper-crust milieu with the keen eye of `Dinner at Eight' and the pie-in-your-face irreverence of `You Can't Take It with You,' with as many witticisms as either and probably more sexual innuendos. Occasional predictability keeps it from being on par with "It Happened One Night" or "Trouble in Paradise," but it is still one of the most emblematic films of its era.

William Powell is pitch perfect as Godfrey Parke, the hobo-turned-butler, breezing effortlessly through every scene. Carole Lombard also turns in one of her most cherished performances as Irene Bullock, the spoiled socialite who pretends to enjoy her wealth but really just wants to be around someone human. As their relationship progresses, Godfrey's humility rubs off on Irene and ultimately frees her from her elite family, which offered her security but only made her unstable. `My Man Godfrey' has no mercy on the aristocracy of the ‘30's, skewing it as socially incompetent and morally bankrupt. `All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.' How terribly true.


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