My Man Godfrey


Comedy / Music / Mystery / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 50%
IMDb Rating 6.3/10 10 992 992

Plot summary

The eccentric Bullock household again need a new butler. Daughter Irene encounters bedraggled Godfrey Godfrey at the docks and, fancying him and noticing his obviously good manners, gets him the job. He proves a great success, but keeps his past to himself. When an old flame turns up Irene's sister Cordelia starts making waves.

June 20, 2023 at 07:26 PM


Henry Koster

Top cast

June Blair as Wayward Girl at Party
Jay Robinson as Vincent
Richard Deacon as Farnsworth
Martha Hyer as Cordelia Bullock
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
846.15 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...
1.53 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 5 / 10

From Hobo To Illegal Alien

The original My Man Godfrey was one of the best of the Thirties screwball comedies. It was funny, but it also touched on some serious social problems caused by the Depression which Carole Lombard and her wacky family thought they were immune from.

In updating the story to the Fifties, the Depression was no longer the problem it was just David Niven's lack of a green card. In the remake it was just something that I as a member of the audience just didn't care about.

Until I read the IMDb page on this film, I didn't know that German actor O.W. Fischer was to be the new Godfrey. When he bowed out, David Niven came in to take his place. The script explained his British accent by saying that despite his Austrian birth and nationality, Godfrey was an Oxford man. I just didn't buy it, I don't think too many in the audience did.

Once again a film rose and fell on the considerable charms of David Niven. My Man Godfrey doesn't have too many peaks and valleys just seems to be one long plain.

Still it does have some amusing moments with whole stretches of dialog lifted from William Powell-Carole Lombard film. And personally I might have gone for Martha Hyer as the older sister Cordelia faster than June Allyson, but whatever floats your boat.

Nice film, but can't compare to what Gregory La Cava gave us back in the day.

Reviewed by kyle_furr 6 / 10

pointless remake

The 1936 version was a masterpiece or close to it and this is a pale imitator. I like David Niven and June Allyson but they suck compared to William Powell and Carole Lombard. This one stars Niven as a man hiding out because he doesn't have a passport unlike the original when Powell was just homeless. Allyson is on a scavenger hunt and takes Niven along with her and then hires him as a butler. She's in love with Niven and it turns out he had a lot of money but lost it but i don't remember and it doesn't really matter. The original was much better and you should just watch that one instead and Powell and Lombard were much better. Why did they even bother to remake this.

Reviewed by crispy_comments 6 / 10

The Forgotten "My Man Godfrey"

Of course, the original My Man Godfrey from 1936, starring William Powell and Carole Lombard, is an absolute masterpiece, and never should've been remade. But I do like June Allyson and David Niven, so I had to see this 1957 version.

It completely lacks both the laugh-out-loud hilarity of the original, as well as the more serious social commentary resulting from being set during the Great Depression and dealing with "The Forgotten Man". Godfrey's backstory has been altered to one of hiding in fear of deportation, having arrived in America illegally, for rather contrived and convoluted reasons. I don't really understand why someone of his wealth and position couldn't just go through the proper channels. As far as I can tell, the character's not making some sort of statement, there's no real point to the story, and the whole thing seems devoid of drama.

What's left, but to focus on the love story here, although that doesn't necessarily make it more convincing than the Powell/Lombard version. Still, the lack of a larger message does leave the remake more time to devote to the relationship between Godfrey and Irene, and some viewers might prefer that. (His somewhat paternalistic fondness of this prattling child - who is somehow also maternal and domestic! - feels very 1950s to me.) Whereas 1936 Godfrey was sort of swept away by whirling dervish Irene, against his will, 1957 Godfrey seems to be making a more conscious choice to be with her. He also seems more amused by her family, less stunned by their behavior... but then, they come across as only mildly eccentric in this version, despite a fair amount of re-used dialogue. Must be because the pacing is more sedate, and most of the actors are calm and subdued.

It's interesting that the first film is stronger in both the comedy and the drama... Perhaps you can't experience such highs, without addressing the lows? Basically, the remake is more bland, and more of a conventional romance. Lacking in substance, but it's pleasant and enjoyable enough, if you can forget the madcap brilliance of the original. David Niven and June Allyson are charming, as always. They deserved better than the thankless assignment of appearing in a destined-to-be-forgotten, watered-down remake of a classic film they must've known could never be surpassed.

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1 Comment

BillCollins profile
BillCollins June 20, 2023 at 09:34 pm

The original with Lombard and Powell is hilarious, this one not so much.