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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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The eccentric Bullock household again need a new butler. Daughter Irene encounters bedraggled Godfrey Godfrey at the docks and, fancying him and noticing his obviously good manners, gets ... See full summary »

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Cast

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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>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al servicio de las damas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$656,000 (estimated)
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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

The hotel where the charity scavenger hunt is being staged is the "Waldorf Ritz Hotel," which did not exist. However, one of the best hotels in New York City in 1936 was the Waldorf Astoria, and another one of the best hotels in New York City at that time was The first Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the U.S., which was built in New York City in 1917. The "Waldorf-Ritz" was an amalgamation of those two iconic brands. See more »

Goofs

When Cornelia & Faithful George return to the scavenger hunt at the Waldorf Ritz, Cornelia addresses Godfrey by name, even though she had not actually learned it by that point in the film. See more »

Quotes

Alexander Bullock: I've just been going over last month's bills, and I find that you people have confused me with the Treasury Department.
Cornelia Bullock: Oh, don't start that again, Dad.
Alexander Bullock: I don't mind giving the government 60% of what I make. But I can't do it when my family spends 50%!
Irene: Well, why should the government get more money than your own family?
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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 Going Hollywood: The '30s (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Ochi Chyornye (Dark Eyes)
(1843) (uncredited)
Alternately spelled "Ochi (or Otchi) Tchornya (or Chornya, Choirni, Tchorniya)
Lyrics by Yevhen Hrebinka
Played on piano and sung often by Mischa Auer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The butler did it!
13 February 2003 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – 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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