Find That Film: My Man Godfrey

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Episode 20 of season four features another William Powell (have you tracked down his filmography yet?) film: My Man Godfrey. Gregory La Cava directed a stellar cast in this 1936 adaptation of Eric Hatch‘s story about a rich family and their poor decisions.

Godfrey Park (Powell) is a forgotten man living in the dump with the other lost men of the Depression. Sisters Cornelia (Gail Patrick) and Irene (Carole Lombard) happen upon him during a scavenger hunt and both attempt to use him for the game. When Godfrey takes offense, Cornelia leaves with a chip on her shoulder and Irene convinces him to come along anyway. After witnessing their entitlement, he accepts Irene’s job offer to be their butler. Godfrey becomes a steadying hand in the dizzying household as Irene falls in love with him.

It may seem a bit ridiculous, and it is, but the story has spoiled socialites, hidden identities, framed theft, and redemption of a sort. Mostly it just has excellent performances. Alice Brady and Jean Dixon shine in their supporting roles. While Lombard channels the flighty Irene quite well, it’s Gail Patrick who succeeds in making Cornelia into a sympathetic character. Also William Powell has a delightful drunk scene that is a joy to watch.

Put on your best dressing gown. Chase those awful hangover pixies away. Then double check there’s nothing under your mattress and find that film My Man Godfrey.

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