Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Man Godfrey(1936).

My Man Godfrey (1936). Comedy. Directed by Gregory LaCava. It was adapted from the novel 1101 Park Avenue by Eric Hatch and Morrie Ryskind. Cast: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette, Mischa Auer and Alan Mowbray. The 1957 remake starred June Allyson and David Niven.

The story is about two New York socialites Cornelia and Irene Bullock, both on a scavenger hunt to find a "forgotten man". At the city dump they find a down on his luck, Godfrey Parke. Insulted by Cornelia handing him five dollars, Godfrey pushes her to the ground. But, he is charmed by her sister Irene and decides to play along. Godfrey does not care for attitude of their friends and says it is a pleasure to return home to his friends. Irene not wanting him to go back to where she found him, hires Godfrey as the families butler.

Video: Scavenger hunt


During a tea party one of the guests, Tommy Gray, recognizes Godfrey as an old college mate. In order to keep his past a secret, Tommy claims Godfrey was his valet and is married with five children. Irene, is heartbroken and out of spite, suddenly announces her engagement to Charlie Van Rumple.

Meanwhile, when everything she does to make Godfrey's life miserable falls short, Cornelia sneaks into his room and plants her pearl necklace under his mattress. She then calls the police to report her "missing" jewelry. To Cornelia's surprise, the pearls are not where she planted them. Mr. Bullock realizes his daughter has made up the whole thing and sees the policemen out. Godfrey, takes it upon himself to help the Bullock family, even with everything they put him through.

The actors are wonderful. William Powell, plays the the straight man very well. Carole Lombard, also gives a wonderful performance. Gail Patrick, plays the part perfectly as Lombard's conniving sister. Eugene Pallette is great as their father. Alice Brady, steals the show as the mother. Look for cameos by Franklin Pangborn and Grady Sutton.

Fun Fact: Jane Wyman has an uncredited part.

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.

Alice Brady (November 2, 1892 – October 28, 1939). Her father, William A. Brady, was an important theatrical producer, and her mother was Rose Marie Rene who died in 1896 when little Alice was four.

Alice first went on the stage when she was 14 and got her first job on Broadway in 1911 at the age of 18, in a show her father was associated with. She continued to perform there for the next 22 years.

In 1931 she appeared in the premiere of, Mourning Becomes Electra.

Her step mother was the Broadway star Grace George (1879–1961). Her half-brother was William A. Brady Jr, the son of her father, Grace George.

Brady's father moved into movie production and presentation in 1913, with his World Film Corporation, and Brady soon followed along after him, making her first silent feature appearance in, As Ye Sow (1914). She appeared in 53 films in the next 10 years.

In 1923, she stopped appearing in films to concentrate on stage acting, and did not appear on the screen again until 1933, when she made the film, When Ladies Meet, her first talking picture. From then on she worked frequently until her death, making another 25 films in seven years. Her final film was, Young Mr. Lincoln (1939).

Brady was married to actor James Crane from 1919 to 1922, when they divorced. They co-starred in three silent films together His Bridal Night(1919), Sinners(1920) and A Dark Lantern(1920).


  1. Sounds interesting,I'll definitely have to look out for this one.

  2. Great post, Dawn, about an old favorite of mine. Thanks, too, for back story tidbits and your focus on Alice Brady.

  3. Paul, You are in luck. You can watch, My Man Godfrey (1936), on the computer. :)

    Ladyeve, Thank you. It was fun putting together the post.


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