My Man Godfrey is not a movie to miss. This superb comedy starring William Powell as vagrant Godfrey 'Duke' Parke who finds himself plucked from obscurity by eccentric heiress Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard). How or why it happened doesn't really bother 'Duke' as he finds himself elevated to the position of butler to the upper crust family. He brings to the household qualities that not only fascinate Irene but also a character she admires, so much so that her attention turns increasingly toward romantic notions. But her protege has a past and it's shrouded in mystery, is it right for her to show her emotions... just how will her advances be received?
Classic Screwball Comedy
- My Man Godfrey review by Steve Mason
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An interesting thing about screwball comedies is that, though they are exclusively set among the rich and privileged, the Art Deco and cocktail set, they exist in a specific time and place, the economic desolation of depression era America.
My Man Godfrey is about a victim of the depression found living among the forgotten men of a big American city by a family of ditzy socialites, who then employ him as their butler. Through his experience of deprivation he exposes the dilettante Bullocks to dignity and integrity and social responsibility.
Which doesn't make it a worthy film. It is fabulously entertaining, adorably romantic, and extremely funny. A wonderful adornment to early Hollywood and thirties America.
And Mischa Auer's turn as an idle, foppish, largely idiotic Latin poet, should not be missed.