8.1/10
16,101
382 user 83 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

Free at Internet Archive

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
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 | 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
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
Certificate: Passed 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
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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
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
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
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
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 | 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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Robert Light ...
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

The Bullock mansion is located at 1101 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York. 1101 Park Avenue is at East 89 Street, just behind the famed Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks north and east of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at East 82 Street and Fifth Avenue. See more »

Goofs

When Godfrey is washing dishes because Molly "has a cold" and Irene joins him in wiping, he only washes supper plates. For one meal, there would not be so many plates used; other items should have been washed after about nine plates at most, which would include the servants' used plates. See more »

Quotes

Godfrey: Tommy, there's a very peculiar mental process called thinking - you wouldn't know much about that - but when I was living here I did a lot of it.
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 Fletch (1985) 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
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.


52 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone else feel sorry for Godfrey ar the end? pandora8
Favorite Bullock? Alix1929
Patrick Underrated billellis
Irene's infatuation angelexposed
Poor Carlo! MissMcCrocodile
Is Powell best ever comedic drunk? tim-764-291856
Discuss My Man Godfrey (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page