Film Review: My Man Godfrey

There’s a certain charm to watching old black and white movies. Especially the ones that are classic screwball comedies. It’s always entertaining to hear jokes or one-liners that are now standard, predictable fare. Take My Man Godfrey, for example. “Can I be frank?” “Is that your name?” “No, my name is Godfrey.” “All right, be Frank.” If you heard that in a film today, you’d roll your eyes. But there’s a certain charm knowing it came from a 1936 film.

My Man Godfrey tells the story of the spoiled little rich girl Irene BUllock (portrayed by Carole Lombard) and her “found man” (1936 speak for a homeless man). During a high society scavenger hunt, Irene wins the game by returning with Godfrey (played by William Powell), a found man that reluctantly agrees to accompany her in order to see what kind of people would be so disrespectful as to include a homeless man on a scavenger hunt list. Having taken to Godfrey, Irene hires him as her family’s new butler. But between her scheming sister Cornelia and Irene’s own infatuation for Godfrey, his job won’t be easy. Of course, Godfrey’s got his own secret, too.

My Man Godfrey starts off a little slowly but once it gets going it’s decidedly modern and funny. What’s more, the film is a screwball comedy with a moral message.

Corinne

In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.