My Man Godfrey (1936)

old comedy movie“You musn’t come between Irene and Godfrey—he’s the first thing she’s shown any affection for since her Pomeranian died last summer.”

 

My Man Godfrey has been a favorite of mine for many years. It’s also a favorite of the United States Library of Congress since they deemed it “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. (I’m still waiting for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to make the list.)

This comedy from Universal stars a couple who had actually been divorced in real life for several years but remained friends: William Powell (who starred in the awesome Thin Man comedy-mysteries in the ‘30s and ‘40s) and the hilarious Carol Lombard (Made for Each Other). Lombard was married to Clark Gable, making them the “Brangelina” of the 1930s.

This movie also has a great supporting cast that includes Eugene Pallette (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). And I don’t know who plays the character named Carlo, but any scene with him is amazing.

My Man Godfrey was a smash hit for the studio and earned several Oscar nominations. By the way, the copyright may have fallen into public domain, so you can probably find the full movie on YouTube…along with about 5,000 versions of a strange song called “Daddy Finger” that has addicted small children all over the world.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: The word “butle” makes me uncomfortable.

willliam powell carol lombard

This is one of those rare screwball comedies that actually has a substantive message to it. Filmed during the Great Depression, it highlights how unaware the upper class could be while so many others were frantically searching for jobs.

This chasm of caring is still alive and well today, and not just among the wealthy. I’ve grown up in a generation that is so preoccupied with smartphones, social media, and the ever-growing need to be entertained, that we’ve become blind to the things that matter most and overly concerned about the things that matter least.

We are a prosperous society: We have food to eat. We have warm places to sleep. Some of us are lucky enough to have jobs. But there are many in this country and around the world who don’t have those things.

What would happen if we put our education to use? What would happen if we spent less money on ourselves and invested more in others? What would happen if we stopped to appreciate our blessings and used our time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed us to lift the arms that hang down around us?

Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?” — Mormon 8:39

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