Repertory Picks

My Man Godfrey in Baltimore

Playing this week at the Charles Theatre, in Baltimore, Maryland, Gregory La Cava’s delightful 1936 romp My Man Godfrey stars the effervescent Carole Lombard as eccentric Manhattan socialite Irene, who decides to hire a man she believes to be a penniless vagabond (William Powell) as her butler after meeting him at the city dump. Smitten with her new employee, she undertakes to acclimate him to her wealthy, wildly dysfunctional family and ultimately win his affections, resulting in a string of madcap hijinks peppered with some of the wittiest repartee in the romantic-comedy canon. The first film to be nominated for Academy Awards in all four acting categories, My Man Godfrey counterbalances its frothy pleasures with “politically freighted allusions” that reflect the social turmoil of its era, making it what writer Diane Jacobs calls “the Depression comedy par excellence.”

For a closer look at this screwball masterpiece, read Ron Deutsch’s Chef du Cinema post, which includes some fascinating background on the short-lived off-screen relationship that Lombard and Powell shared years before the making of My Man Godfrey, as well as a tasty recipe from the leading man.

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