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My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 September 1936 (USA)
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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

Complete credited cast:
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Robert Light ...
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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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Release Date:

17 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al servicio de las damas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$656,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

In production during the most volatile period in Universal's long history. The studio was reeling from the recent costly flop, Sutter's Gold (1936) and was banking heavily on the success of Show Boat (1936), which would experience production delays and cost Carl Laemmle his studio. Despite the relatively economical cost of Godfrey (under $700,000) it was released too late to benefit Laemmle and the new owners were able to capitalize on both it and Show Boat's revenues to finance a much cheaper and scaled back 1937 production roster. The "new" Universal wouldn't produce another true A-list film until 1939 (with Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Destry Rides Again (1939)) and would only survive by the singular popularity of its one major star, Deanna Durbin until the arrival of Abbott and Costello in 1941. 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

Angelica Bullock: My ancestors came over on the boat. Oh, not the Mayflower, but the boat after that. What did your ancestors come over on, Godfrey?
Godfrey: As far as I know, they've always been here.
Angelica Bullock: They weren't Indians, I hope.
Godfrey: One can never be sure of one's ancestors.
Angelica Bullock: You know, you have rather high cheek bones...
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

Featured in The Universal Story (1995) 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

 
We've really lost something nowadays
4 July 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

I don't want to be one of those "they don't make 'em like they used to" people, but I just can't help it when it comes to comedy. We've lost that talent completely, it seems. I can't think of any really great comedies of the past ten years. The golden age for film comedy was the mid 1930s to the mid 1940s (at least for the talkies; silent comedies were a totally different art form). This is also the period of the screwball comedy. My Man Godfrey was one of the first screwball comedies. Films such as Bringing Up Baby and The Lady Eve perfected the form, but My Man Godfrey is nearly as perfect. It isn't quite as funny as Bringing Up Baby nor is it as emotionally resonant as The Lady Eve, but it is funny, it has depression era social commentary (its main theme is identical to Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels, beating it by 6 years), and the script is marvelous. The finale is as good as any other comic finale, including the last scene of Some Like it Hot.

The actors are also in top form. William Powell is the straight man, and he plays it very well. All the rest are as nutty as ever. Carole Lombard probably gives her greatest performance here (I suppose I shouldn't say that since I've only seen her in one other film; I can only guess at this since it is one of the funniest performances of film history). Gail Patrick is perfectly devious as Lombard's conniving sister. Eugene Pallette is great as their father. Alice Brady, though, steals the show as their mother, a total fruit cake whose protoge, Carlo (Mischa Auer) does nothing but eat the household's food and pound the same couple of notes on their piano. And look for cameos by MGM regulars Franklin Pangborn and Grady Sutton. 10/10


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Does anyone else feel sorry for Godfrey ar the end? pandora8
Favorite Bullock? Alix1929
Patrick Underrated billellis
Irene's infatuation angelexposed
Poor Carlo! MissMcCrocodile
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