Box art for My Man Godfrey (1936)

My Man Godfrey (1936)

comedy, romance

A landmark screwball comedy from Hollywood's golden age, My Man Godfrey follows the madcap antics of a ditzy debutante (Carole Lombard) who stumbles upon a "forgotten man" (William Powell) at the city dump.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Gregory La Cava's improvisational style received its highest critical acclaim for this 1936 film, a marginally Marxist exercise in class confusion during the Depression.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Friday, February 6, 2009

Fresh: Its whimsical winning nature still comes through.

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: One of the most enchanting and poignant screwball comedies of all time, La Cava's zany film reflects the zeitgeist of the Depression and is supremely acted by William Powell, Carol Lombard and the rest of the ensemble.

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A socialite falls for her butler who has a secret about his past. What great satire. The way the upper classes are exposed as caddy and the way they treat the lower classes as playthings resonates even today when some people wonder at the plight of the poor: "If they don't have enough money, why don't they buy more of it?" William Powell's performance is of the time, reserved and aloof but occasionally charming, and Carole Lombard nails the flighty Irene Bullock. Overall, this is a film that has certainly stood the test of time and remains poignantly funny.

- hunterjt13, Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5 stars

Incredible cinema! This is why we love Carole Lombard, William Powell and screwball comedies.

- flixsterman, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4 stars

My Man Godfrey is on of the most perfect and deciptively light hearted romatic comedies of all time. This apparently screwball confection is about the class system, poverty, the dignity of humanity and a true soul match between two people who complete each other. However, you can turn your brain off to those deeper themes and enjoy one of the most wittily written, superbly cast and beautifully shot pieces of black and white artistry from Hollywood's golden era. It's about a homeless man being instantly enlisted on a whim and made into the butler for a dysfunctional rich family and rising to the occasion. Neither he nor the wacky family are what they first appear to be. FIrst and foremost in this embarrasment of riches is the indelibly charismatic and intelligent peformances by Powell and Lombard - and their scintillating chemistry. Powell shows great depth with subtlety and perfect comic timing, and Lombard is beautiful, quirky, vulerable and you can't take your eyes off her. They play two interesting, well rounded and flawed people who we filmgoers want desperately to wind up together. Second is the rest of the crackerjack cast, every role cast to perfection. Then is the economical script and direction, where not a scene is longer or shorter than it needs to be, and is peformed with restrained honesty and precision. The only reason I hold back the last half star to this film is that some aspects of the film have dated, particularly the rushed and pat happy ending, and the over stylized aspects of the production design. If you are someone who can't see through these details to enjoy old movies, I'm not sure this will win you over. However, the Criterion collection version is pristine and crisp, both for sound and picture. This film could be made into a contemporary feature today, with the exacty same story, and has: Paul Mazursky's Down and Out in Beverly Hills, which is based on a French Jean Renoir film, but that film is more dark and sexual. My Man Godfrey will grab most viewers from beginning to end and make you laugh and care about the characters. It's a gem.

- fb1038944442, Wednesday, December 7, 2011