One item on the list for a scavenger hunt mounted by a ritzy New York hotel is a “forgotten man”. Uptown girl Irene Bullock wins when she finds Godfrey, a tramp living at the city dump. But the homeless man seems so cultivated that Irene hires him as the family butler. The other members of the household are Irene’s jealous sister, her addle-brained mother, the mother’s “protégé” Carlo, and a father under financial strain. Godfrey soon proves to have more class than all of them, and it turns out he comes from a distinguished blue-blooded family. To keep that secret, he allows the fiction to circulate that he is married with five children – greatly disappointing Irene, who has fallen in love with Godfrey … This witty depression-era comedy about a “forgotten man” who is catapulted from the city dump to the upper reaches of high society provides laughs, and brought Carole Lombard her first and only Oscar nomination. Her naïve, childlike, flapper type is a far cry from the actress’s usual roles. The effectiveness of her performance is enhanced by the way she imbues her spoiled brat character, amid a frenetic plot that comes close to theatre of the absurd, with a trace of tragedy.
by Gregory La Cava
with William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Jean Dixon, Eugene Pallette, Alan Mowbray, Mischa Auer, Pat Flaherty, Robert Light
USA 1936 English 94’ Black/White Rating R6

With

  • William Powell
  • Carole Lombard
  • Alice Brady
  • Gail Patrick
  • Jean Dixon
  • Eugene Pallette
  • Alan Mowbray
  • Mischa Auer
  • Pat Flaherty
  • Robert Light

Crew

DirectorGregory La Cava
ScreenplayMorrie Ryskind, Eric Hatch, based on the eponymous novel by Eric Hatch (1935)
CinematographyTed Tetzlaff
Visual EffectsJohn P. Fulton
EditingTed J. Kent, Russell Schoengarth, Maurice Pivar
Music SupervisorCharles Previn
SoundJoe Lapis, Homer G. Tasker
Art DirectorCharles D. Hall
CostumesTravis Banton, Brymer
Make-UpHugh Roman
ProducerGregory La Cava

Produced by

Universal Productions, Inc. (A Gregory La Cava Production)