© 1936 Universal Pictures

My Man Godfrey (1936)

Today was the first day this year that I almost missed my movies of the day. I was planning to go to a press screening of Harold and Maude with a friend, but stupidly mistook the starting time and we couldn’t get in. I already have commitments in the evening, but I was able to rush home and quickly watch a public domain movie at archive.org. It turned out to be a really great one, that I plan to watch again in more relaxed circumstances.

The story of My Man Godfrey is rather implausible. Carole Lombard and Gail Patrick play the spoiled, out-of-control socialites who view the world as their playground, a sort of Paris and Nicky Hilton of the depression era. As part of a scavenger hunt, they find a man living in the city dump, and the Carole Lombard character quickly becomes fascinated with him. He comes to work for the family as a butler, and it is immediately obvious that he is the most normal person in the household. While it would be hard to swallow this kind of story with the actors of the Hollywood of today, William Powell and Carol Lombard somehow make it believable, and there are loads of great lines of dialogue that make the movie a joy to watch.

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