8.1/10
16,839
390 user 86 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Thin Man (1934)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: June Allyson, David Niven, Jessie Royce Landis
The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Ninotchka (1939)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al servicio de las damas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$656,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Noiseless Recording Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning of the film, and sporadically throughout, Godfrey, portrayed by William Powell, is called "Duke" by his friend Mike, and by other hobo town men at the city dump, but he is never called Duke by anyone else off of "the dump" property. See more »

Goofs

After Cornelia's necklace supposedly disappears, three police officers are at the Bullock home to investigate. Minutes later, only two of them are shown leaving. See more »

Quotes

Guthrie: Are you wanted by the police?
Godfrey: That's just the trouble. Nobody wants me.
See more »

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

Referenced in Merrily We Live (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink a Highball
(1901) (uncredited)
Words and Music by G.B. Brigham
Sung a bit a cappella by William Powell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic Screwball Comedy
31 October 2000 | by (Nebraska) – See all my reviews

My Man Godfrey is a classic ensemble film with Carole Lombard and William Powell at the helm. The comedic timing is nearly perfect and the script is a winner. Character actors Eugene Palette and Mischa Auer absolutely shine. Lombard defined screwball with her on and off screen antics. Her portrayal of the rich and flighty (yet ultimately wise) Irene Bullock is one of her best performances. Powell's Godfrey matches her step for step, and Powell does one better by showing us depth in his character rather than play straight man to her every madcap move.

The movie is fast-paced and defines the word zany. What is worth noting though is that in many ways it is a commentary of the times by comparing the 'haves' and 'have nots'. I would encourage everyone to watch with more than a comedic eye. Through Godfrey, director Gregory La Cava's film speaks volumes about the conditions of the 1930s. The U.S. was plunged in a depression that forced thousands to the breadlines. The film opens with a treasure hunt and one of the items to find is a forgotten man. The rich set out to the city dump to locate him with no regard for his plight or his dignity. The man they bring back as the prize is Godfrey, who soon is employed by the Bullock family as their butler. Powell and Gail Patrick as Irene's snooty sister, Cornelia, are the antithesis of each other and some of the best social barbs are exchanged between them. Keeping their esteemed place in society is paramount to the Bullock family, and only the father (Pallette) ever seems to worry about money. However, La Cava does not allow the film to wallow in pity for those less fortunate. The film amuses throughout but it is a real art to weave social commentary into a comedy without banging you over the head. La Cava pulls it off beautifully.

La Cava, Lombard, Powell, Auer, and Alice Brady all deservedly earned Academy Award nominations. This movie will make you laugh and it should. It is very, very funny. It should also make you think. I suspect if you do both, Mr. La Cava and his wonderful cast will have done their jobs.


53 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page