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My Man Godfrey (1936) Poster

Trivia

This is the only movie to ever get Oscar nominations for writing, directing and all four acting awards without being nominated for Best Picture. It was also the only movie to ever get those six nominations without winning in any of the categories all until American Hustle (2013).
Carole Lombard had a habit of ad-libbing by inserting swear words into the dialogue, which necessitated the re-shooting of several scenes.
William Powell suggested his ex-wife Carole Lombard for the leading role with the explanation that his real life romance with Lombard had been much the same as it was for the characters of Godfrey and Irene.
A stand-in (Chick Collins) was used when William Powell carries Carole Lombard over his shoulder up the stairs to her bedroom.
When William Powell and director Gregory La Cava had a disagreement over how Godfrey should be played, they talked it out over a bottle of Scotch in Powell's dressing room. The next day, LaCava returned to the movie set with a major headache, but Powell was not there. The director received a telegram from his star: "WE MAY HAVE FOUND GODFREY LAST NIGHT BUT WE LOST POWELL. SEE YOU TOMORROW."
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.
Although stars William Powell and Carole Lombard had been divorced for three years by the time they made this, when offered the part Powell declared that the only actress right for the part of Irene was Lombard.
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.
When "My Man Godfrey" was adapted and broadcast as an episode of the Lux Radio Theater on May 9, 1938, David Niven portrayed Tommy Gray. Niven would later star in the remake, My Man Godfrey (1957).
Jane Wyman has an uncredited role.
When Irene, portrayed by Carole Lombard, and Molly, portrayed by Jean Dixon, are sobbing in the kitchen, Godfrey, portrayed by William Powell, comes in, tipsy after his drinking bout with Tommy, portrayed by Alan Mowbray. The lines of the song he sings are "for tomorrow may bring sorrow/ So tonight let's all be gay./ Tell the story of the glory". These lines come from "Drink a Highball", a song of Harvard's Ivy League rival, University of Pennsylvania. The lines continue "of Pennsylvania." The writers likely cut it off to avoid the obvious contradiction of a Harvard man singing a Penn song, no matter how appropriate to his imbibing.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
Based on the book '1101 Park Avenue' by Eric Hatch.
In 2002 the film was remastered and restored and effectively colorized for the first time.
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.
The film makes reference to the Dionne Quintuplets, who were born just months before this was filmed, when Mrs. Bullock says, "Why shouldn't Godfrey have five children? If a woman in Canada can have five children, why can't Godfrey?" It was common, at the time, to have the Quintuplets referenced in films, because they were the first multiple birth, past triplets, to all be born alive. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the girls are still the largest multiple birth recognized by them, because they only recognize babies conceived naturally.
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film.
The Character of Irene Bullock is in her late teens; 'Carole Lombard (I)' was 27/28 at the time of production.
Mischa Auer's character Carlo repeatedly sings "Ochi Chornya" in this movie. Nine years later in And Then There Were None (1945) his character Prince Nikita Starloff begins playing the first few notes of "Ochi Chornya" on the piano before meeting his demise.
Was selected for preservation by the national film registry in 1999, being referred to as culturally significant by the United States Library of Congress.
The film's copyright appeared at the beginning of the film, under the "production credit," which was "A Gregory La Cava Production." This was unusual in two ways, first that the copyright appeared at the beginning of the film, instead of at the end, and second that it was under the director's name in small print, and not under the production company's name in small print.
The hotel where the charity scavenger hunt is being staged is the "Waldorf Ritz Hotel," which did not exist. However, one of the best hotels in New York City in 1936 was the Waldorf Astoria, and another one of the best hotels in New York City at that time was The first Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the U.S., which was built in New York City in 1917. The "Waldorf-Ritz" was an amalgamation of those two iconic brands.
About one hour into the film, Carlo starts reading a poem: "'Courage!' he said, and pointed toward the land,'This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.'" These words are from the opening lines of the poem "The Lotus-Eaters" by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 2, 1946 with William Powell reprising his film role.
Eddie Kane is in studio records as a cast member, but he was not seen in the movie.
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.
Set around and filmed during the Great Depression.

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