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My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 6 September 1936 (USA)
0:52 | Trailer

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A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Robert Light ...


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al servicio de las damas  »

Box Office


$656,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Noiseless Recording Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Eddie Kane is in studio records as a cast member, but he was not seen in the movie. See more »


Godfrey is placing roses in a vase while ignoring Irene. In one shot, he has already placed five stems in the vase. The camera cuts away to the rest of the cast but when Godfrey is seen again, there is only one rose in the vase. See more »


Molly: Mr. Bullock, there's a hansom cab driver waiting to see you in the kitchen.
Alexander Bullock: What's he want?
Molly: He wants $50 and his horse.
Alexander Bullock: What horse?
Molly: The one Miss Irene rode up the front steps last night.
Alexander Bullock: Where is his horse? I haven't got it!
Molly: It's in the library, where Miss Irene left 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 »


Featured in Native Son (1986) See more »


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

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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")

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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