Friday, December 17, 2010

My Man Godfrey (1957).

My Man Godfrey (1957) . Comedy. June Allyson and David Niven. It is a remake of Gregory La Cava's 1936 comedy of the same name.

Allyson played the role created by Carole Lombard  and Niven played the William Powell role. The plot begins as a scatterbrained heiress, who uses and then hires a man whom she believes to be homeless. She gives him a job as the family's butler. The family's  does not know  their new butler, is actually as wealthy as they are.

The supporting cast: Jessie Royce Landis, Robert Keith and Eva Gabor. It was adapted by Peter Berneis, William Bowers and Everett Freeman, and directed by Henry Koster.

Jessie Royce Landis (November 25, 1896 - February 2, 1972). In the 1950s, she began appearing in movies as a character actress, best known in, To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959), both starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest she played Grant's character's mother and in To Catch a Thief she played Grace Kelly's mother.

List of Jessie Royce Landis films:

1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College
It Happens Every Spring
My Foolish Heart
1955 To Catch a Thief
1956 The Swan
1957 My Man Godfrey
1958 I Married a Woman
1959 North by Northwest (pictured below)
1961 Goodbye Again
1962 Boys' Night Out
1963 Critic's Choice
Gidget Goes to Rome
1970 Airport


  1. Oh! I wonder if I will like this version of Godfrey better? I do love David Niven however, Allyson is no Lombard. Guess I'll have to see. Great post!

  2. I need to watch this one. David Niven as Godfrey will be fine.

    But the idea of June Allyson as a scatterbrain just does not appeal to me.

    There's a certain ethereal or otherworldly quality necessary to play dumb in a likeable way [at least for me to enjoy it]. Carole Lombard has it, as does Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby.

    Or perhaps it's vulnerablilty that endears a silly character to the audience. Judy Holliday has vulnerablilty in spades in her not-so-dumb blonde roles.

    June Allyson, however, is very a realistic performer, rather sober. I suppose that's why she has so many times played the solid woman behind the famous man (Glenn Miller Story). And before that she would play the pious or motherly sister type (Two Sisters From Boston).

    I don't want to watch JA embarrass herself, but I will watch GODFREY to give her a chance to prove me wrong.

    And another thing, in the remakes from the late 1940s/1950s the actors often try too hard. It's as if they have studied every frame of the original and are impersonating the earlier stars.

    Consider Virginia Mayo in A SONG IS BORN trying desperately to be the gutsy, tough Barbara Stanwyck. Or even June Allyson in LITTLE WOMEN trying to dredge up the verve of Katharine Hepburn. It doesn't quite work.

  3. I have only seen about half hour of the remake, My Man Godfrey (1957). It did not hold my interest. I do however, want to give it a another chance.


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