My Man Godfrey


Oscar Wins:  0

Oscar Nominations:

Best Actor: 
William Powell
Best Actress:
Carole Lombard
Best Supporting Actor:  Mischa Auer
Best Supporting Actress:  Alice Brady
Best Director:
Gregory La Cava
Best Writing/Screenplay: Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind

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

Storyline: A wacky screwball comedy about a 'forgotten man' who is adopted as a butler by a young socialite and her family, when she finds him in the city dump, whilst on a scavenger hunt.

Why Should It Have Won? Because it was the best screwball comedy every made!  Powell and Lombard are wonderful together, and the writing and story line make for one of the funniest films ever.  

Why Didn't It Win? The film holds up to this day, as a favorite of the fans and the critics!  In 1936, however, audiences seemed more interested in the spectacle of The Great Ziegfeld.  

The film may also have suffered from competition.  Mr. Deed's Goes to Town was another hot screwball comedy that year, and its director, Frank Capra, was already considered the master of the art form.


Best Scene:  Quite frankly, the entire movie was a lot of fun, but to narrow it down, the best scene had to be the punch line.  Love conquers all when Lombard forces the issue of love and marriage on an unsuspecting Godfrey.

The lines in this movie are non-stop, and it ends with one of the best!  "Stand still Godfrey, this will all be over in a minute!" 

Behind the Scenes: Carole Lombard was thought to be a shoe-in for the Best Actress award.  She attended the ceremony with her current date, Clark Gable, and with her ex-husband and co-star, William Powell, who was accompanied by Jean Harlow.  Harlow got wind of the fact that Lombard wasn't going to win, prior to the announcement, and gave her the bad news in the powder room.  

Lombard's acting career took off in 1934 with the comedy, Twentieth Century, where she was able to demonstrate her comedic timing.  Her star rose throughout the rest of the decade, making her one of the top paid actresses, at $35 000 per week.  She married screen idol, Clark Gable, in 1939.  His heart was broken on January 16, 1942, when Lombard died in a plane crash outside of Las Vegas.  She was 33 years old.

Alice Brady won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress the following year, for In Old Chicago.

The evil Cornelia is played by Gail Patrick.  In the 40's and 50's she went on to run a children's clothing store and playground, that catered to Hollywood kids.

My Man Godfrey is available on DVD as part of the Criterion collection, and on VHS.  

 cover cover

Regarded as a crime today, My Man Godfrey did not even get the nomination as the best film of the year.
Lombard picks up Powell in the city dump.  She needs a forgotten man to win the scavenger hunt.
Alice Brady should have won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as the ditzy mother, to the equally ditzy, Lombard.
His first day on the job, Powell as Godfrey, gets tips from the sassy maid, played by Jean Dixon.
Evil sister Cornelia, played by Gail Patrick, makes her feelings of Godfrey clear to him.  She wants him out.
Mischa Auer, Best Supporting Actor nominee, apes it up as the protege.
Lombard is smitten with her new butler, Godfrey.

Eugene Pallette is the gruff patriarch of the wacky Bullock family. 

Lombard scoffs when her sister accuses Godfrey of stealing.

Cornelia gets crap for losing her pearls.  Meanwhile, she planted them in Godfrey's room.
Dizzy mom, Alice Brady, gives daughter Lombard a pep talk.
Did you miss me?  Lombard returns from a trip abroad, where all she thought about was Godfrey.
Godfrey saves the day when the family finds out that they are broke!