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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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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

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. See more »

Goofs

In the living room scene just after the PARK AVENUE CHATTER column that appears, Cornelia's magazine changes. At first, Cornelia picks up a magazine having a dark stripe along the top and bottom of the front cover, then the magazine has a lighter front cover and a woman (resembling her) in an ad on the back cover. As Cornelia moves over to the couch, the magazine changes back to the original one; further, it reveals a star shape on the front cover and a non-portrait on the back cover. 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?
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 One of the Hollywood Ten (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Deitcher's Dog (Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone)
(1864) (uncredited)
Traditional
Based on the German folk song "Zu Lauterbach Hab' I Mein Strumpf Velor'n"
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Delightfully Naive and Funny
25 December 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In New York post-Great Depression, the spoiled socialites Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard) and her sister Cornelia Bullock (Gail Patrick) are disputing a scavenger hunt where the winner is the one who brings a "forgotten man" first. They go to the city dump and Cornelia offers five dollars to the derelict Godfrey Smith (William Powell) to go with her and her companion to the Wardolf Hotel. The man pushes her in the garbage and Cornelia leaves the landfill with her companion. However, Irene talks to Godfrey that she wanted to beat Cornelia to it and he accepts to go with her to win the prize. Irene offers the position of butler to Godfrey and tells her parents Alexander (Eugene Palette) and Angelica Bullock (Alice Brady) that she has hired Godfrey to work for their dysfunctional family in their mansion. Irene has an infatuation on Godfrey and protects him while Cornelia hates him and wants to harm him. During a party in the Bullock's house, the Harvard graduated investor Tommy Gray (Alan Mowbray) recognizes Godfrey and salutes him. But the butler asks him to keep the secret of his past and schedules an encounter in the restaurant to explain what is happening.

"My Man Godfrey" is a delightfully naive and funny romantic comedy with magnificent performances of William Powell and Carole Lombard, who is wonderful in the role of a spoiled and reckless woman. The dialogs have great moments and one of the best quotes is when Godfrey Parker tells to Tommy Gray that "the only difference between a derelict and a man is a job". "My Man Godfrey" had six nominations to the Oscar in 1937 (Best Actor in a Leading Role: William Powell; Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mischa Auer; Best Actress in a Leading Role: Carole Lombard; Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Alice Brady; Best Director: Gregory La Cava; and Best Writing, Screenplay: Eric Hatch and Morrie Ryskind). My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Irene, a Teimosa" ("Irene, the Stubborn")


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