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My Man Godfrey

William Powell , Carole Lombard , Gregory La Cava    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

My Man Godfrey + The Complete Thin Man Collection (The Thin Man / After the Thin Man / Another Thin Man / Shadow of the Thin Man / The Thin Man Goes Home / Song of the Thin Man) + Myrna Loy/William Powell Coll
Price For All Three: CDN$ 122.73

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Product Details

Product Description


Director Gregory La Cava deftly balances satire, romance, and social comment in this 1936 classic, which echoes Frank Capra in its Depression-era subtext. The Bullocks are a well-heeled, harebrained Manhattan family genetically engineered for screwball collisions: father Alexander (Eugene Pallette, of the foghorn voice and thick-knit eyebrows) is the breadwinner at wit's end, thanks to his spoiled daughters, the sultry Cornelia (Gail Patrick) and the sweet but scatterbrained Irene (a luminous Carole Lombard), his dizzy and doting wife, Angelica (Alice Brady), and her "protégé," Italian freeloader Carlo (Mischa Auer). When Irene wins a society scavenger hunt (and atypically trumps her scheming sister) by producing a "lost man," a seeming tramp named Godfrey (William Powell), all their lives are transformed. With the always suave, effortlessly funny Powell in the title role, this mystery man provides the film's conscience and its model of decency; the giddy, passionate Lombard holds out its model for triumphant love. In a movie riddled with memorable comic highlights, the real miracle is the unapologetic romanticism that prevails. --Sam Sutherland

Special Features

After years as a poster child for archival neglect, this 1936 screwball gem is restored to its original luster in Criterion's exemplary digital transfer, which yields nearly pristine imaging and a clearer soundtrack. Even the opening credits, combining miniatures, animation, and art deco type design to create a panorama of New York's riverfront, is a revelation after decades of poor transfers. Better yet, this edition restores a brief but crucial scene (a pivotal visit by Carole Lombard's Irene to "butler" Godfrey's service quarters) absent from most public domain-sourced versions. Extras include a thoughtful audio commentary by historian Bob Gilpin, a few outtakes, production stills, an original trailer, and the radio adaptation (which also featured stars Powell and Lombard)--modest extras when compared to those found on some modern DVDs, but substantial for a movie lensed more than six decades ago. For classics fans, this is nirvana. --Sam Sutherland

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "My Man Godfrey" Still Sparkles after 60 Years Dec 29 2003
By tpm1800
Gregory La Cava's 1936 masterpiece "My Man Godfrey" my well be the best comedy of the '30s. This screwball classic features a witty topnotch script, fast paced direction, fabulous art deco sets and wonderful performances from Carole Lombard and William Powell, as well as, supporting players, Gail Patrick, Mischa Auer, Eugene Pallette, Alan Mowbray and, the particularly dizzy, Alice Brady. This film has never looked better than it has on this Criterion edition. The picture is crisp and clear and way better than any public domain print. In fact, during a recent showing of a PD print on TCM I got out my laptop and ran the Criterion DVD simultaneously and wow, what a difference. The clarity and amount of detail is terrific. I wish the extras had been better and the commentary could have been from the actual stars and creators rather than a film historian but these are petty complaints. If you have been thinking of adding this classic to your collection then pay the extra money and get the best version out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its worth the extra dollars! Nov. 18 2003
By A Customer
I admit I was a bit reluctant to spend the money for this version of the classic movie, being perfectly content (I thought) with the cheaper versions. But having once purchased it, I can assure you it is worth the extra dollars. The picture is crystal clear and the sound (always a problem on some of the other versions) is wonderfully restored. Powell and Lombard never looked or sounded better, even in 1936. The brief missing scene (mentioned in the other review) included here is a nice
addition, adding even more... tension between Godrey and Irene. Godrey is appalled that Irene would enter his private domain and Irene, as ever, is oblivious to all disapproval, having only eyes for Godrey. The radio play is an interesting extra, reuniting the two stars, plus Gail Russell is back as the conniving Cornelia. Also, a young David Niven is in the radio play, as Godfrey's friend Tommy Gray. The commentary is interesting, sometimes more for film students than fans, but still a good addition. Outtakes from any film made in the 1930's are rare, so these, although brief, are a bonus.
All in all, the digital transfer itself is worth the money, the rest of these extras are just gravy for the collector. I highly recommend this disc, for those who cherish the immortal screwball comedy films and the discerning fans of William Powell and Carole Lombard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Criterion DVD an overpriced disappointment July 9 2003
Unfortunately Criterion has (again) cornered the market on a classic film and no other DVD of reasonable quality exists. This DVD, overpriced as all Criterion entries are, is a disappointment. The restoration is not particularly good, with fuzzy resolution and distortion around the edges in many scenes. The sound quality, too, is well below par for a premium-priced DVD. Compare this disk with the superb DVDs of "Sunset Boulevard" (Paramount) and "All About Eve" (20th Century Fox). On both of these disks, the picture and sound restoration, as well as the bonus features, far surpass Criterion's "Godfrey" at a far, far lower price. Criterion is lazily riding the reputation they built years ago with laser disks when the competition was mainly VHS, and still charging laser disk prices for a product that is less than premium. They need to 1) improve quality and 2) reduce prices to realistic levels. If not, the best thing would be for them to overprice themselves out of business. They certainly are no longer the "criterion" against which all video should be evaluated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WEAK LOOKING PRINT AN IMPROVEMENT! April 22 2003
By Nix Pix
Considering how truly awful this movie has looked in the past, Criterion's edition of "My Man Godfrey" must be commended for its ressurection of an almost dead cinematic masterpiece. William Powell stars as Godfrey - a bum and forgotten man transformed at the insistance of a madcap heiress (Carole Lombard) into the perfect penguine - her smart-witted butler!
Previously issued, bootlegged VHS tapes, as well as late night viewings of this movie on television have been painful to watch. Criterion's restoration efforts are a subtle step in the right direction. However, I would be interested in learning how much more can be done with the original film elements.
For the record, "My Man Godfrey" still exhibits a soft picture with low contrast levels and an excessive amount of film grain. Blacks and shadow levels are very weak and there are certain scenes where the gray scale is reduced to either pure black or white visual representation, with an understandable loss of fine detail and over all image clarity. Still, the many rips, chips, tears and water damage, that one was used to seeing before, have all been tempered or all-together eliminated from this print. Many scenes on this transfer exhibit image quality that is quite satisfactory. The audio on this disc is mono but nicely restored. There are several glaring examples of pops and crackles that can be heard, as well as a persistant strident characteristic throughout. But believe me when I say that "My Man Godfrey" - save its premiere, has never looked or sounded better for the home video market.
EXTRAS: Criterion can't convince me of their hefty price tag for a petty audio commentary and inclusion of the Lux Radio Broadcast of this movie included herein.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost 80yrs and counting.......
It is uncommon for any movie to much outlive the period in which it was created ..... but this is certainly one of them.
Published 9 months ago by Harold McPeake
5.0 out of 5 stars The first "odd couple" emphasis on odd. :P
One of my favourite films of the classic B&W movie age. The chemistry between the two leads is self evident and it's hard to see any of the expected animosity that you would... Read more
Published 15 months ago by 1/2DHsquared
5.0 out of 5 stars My Man Godfrey (1936)
I really enjoyed this movie. Story line moves along nicely. Colorized feature not only adds to the visual enjoyment but also maintains the mood and settings of the venue. Read more
Published 17 months ago by John W.H.D Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal 100th Anniv. Ed. This Is The Version To Own!
I think fans of this film already know the familiar story line, so I won't get into that here. The great news is it's being presented as part of Universal's 100th Anniversary... Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2012 by Movieman, Montreal
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie just as compelling today as when made
The ancient writers of the past used to write their books would age when people were educated and became better..if education was really the problem. Here we have a play... Read more
Published on July 14 2012 by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars My Man Godfrey
I'm such a fan of William Powell and he does not disappoint in this film at all. The quality is good and so is the price. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2012 by Amazonfan
5.0 out of 5 stars My Man Godfrey
I had a VHS copy of this movie, it had faded away, so was very glad when I could buy a DVD copy.
Published on Aug. 1 2011 by Gayle Bray
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, horrible price
I love this movie. It's entertaining, fun and the characters are over the top. It would be a great movie to watch with the kids because it could keep them engaged, but it's even... Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2010 by ElyseAli
4.0 out of 5 stars All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of...
The below-stairs people usually got ignored in old movies. But there's a very interesting twist in "My Man Godfrey," a fun screwball comedy about a rich little girl who adores her... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2009 by E. A Solinas
2.0 out of 5 stars great movie, poor transfer
The transfer to digital is terrible; they must have used a 0 to 1M/sec video stream (VDC or SVCD) and recorded it from a VHS master. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2008 by Alan R. Mcquaig
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