MY MAN GODFREY (1936) 

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William Powell
Carole Lombard
Alice Brady
Gail Patrick
Eugene Pallette
Alan Mowbray
Jean Dixon
Mischa Auer
Robert Light

Gregory La Cava



Time: 94 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Screenplay and Director.

Carole Lombard proves she's more than just a pretty face in this screwball comedy that has her falling in love with a down-and-out William Powell. Like many comedies of the day, GODFREY pokes fun at the frivolous habits of the upper class, while attempting to impart a social message about the troubles of the common man. Thankfully, much of the message is buried under witty dialogue and romantic posturing. Powell plays a "forgotten man" found by Lombard's flighty socialite who immediately falls in love with his honest nature and high cheekbones. In order to keep him close to her, she gets him a job as her family's butler, which he is grossly unqualified for in the temprament department. Hilarious antics ensue as she tries to get him to reciprocate her feelings, while he attempts to resist her charms and her arrogant and spoiled sister tries to get him fired.

It goes without saying that Godfrey is not exactly the poverty-stricken man everyone believes him to be. He has to be worthy of her love after all and he can't really be a bum to win a rich girl despite the film's posturing otherwise. He has a lot more in common with the Bullocks than he wants to admit, though his time on the street has changed his outlook on what's important in life. Lombard is luminous and funny as the headstrong little rich girl with love on her mind and little else. Powell tries to keep his distance and resist her charms, but it's clear who's going to win in the end. This is not your typical romance, but that's part of its charm. That and Powell's suave intelligence. This is a lovely and funny trifle that showcases both stars beautifully. It has some long-winded and preachy sections, but thankfully they don't get in the way of true love. More funny than romantic, the leads have enough chemistry to make the fairytale ending believable.

"All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

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