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Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Man Godfrey (1957)

Engaged in a scavenger hunt for charity, a rather kooky heiress (June Allyson) discovers a homeless man (David Niven) hiding near the docks. She hires him as her butler but the man soon discovers that the entire family is a bit "different". A remake of the classic 1936 screwball comedy which was based on the novel by Eric Hatch. Once again in the position of an iconoclast, I have to confess I'm not one of the fans of the 1936 beloved original. I don't dislike it but it seems to be trying too hard and I find Carole Lombard quite unappealing, more grating and annoying than funny. Ross Hunter (PILLOW TALK) produced this version in CinemaScope and Technicolor and it gets the full glam treatment with posh Manhattan upper West side settings and Allyson, Martha Hyer and Eva Gabor in chic frocks courtesy of Bill Thomas. Niven is an adequate substitute for William Powell but while screwball comedy isn't Allyson's forte, she seems more down to earth than Lombard thus giving the role a slightly more root in reality. Niven was a quick replacement for the Austrian actor O.W. Fischer who was to have made his American film debut. Directed by Henry Koster (FLOWER DRUM SONG). With Jessie Royce Landis, Robert Keith and Jay Robinson. 

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