My Man Godfrey.
The definitive American screwball comedy, a genuinely funny movie and a landmark in cinema. The overlapping dialogue and rapid fire nonstop jokes preceded (and likely inspired) Howard Hawk’s 1940 classic His Girl Friday. William Powell’s (Somewhat) understated and subtle performance works better here than Cary Grant’s over the top Walter Burns would have.
A poster child for the poor quality of film preservation, the ne Criterion release presents it in a new light. (God I need about $1000 for my DVD collection.)The script and the direction are superb, and subtlety and nuance are not out of the range of Lombard and Brady’s melodramatic playgirls. Gail Patrick provides the anchor with her brooding and scheming portrayal of Cornelia.
The cinematography is a prime example of the evident dominant flmmaking theory in Holywood in the thirties. The camera is purely utilitarian. As Ebert put it his commentary on Casablanca, there are no shots for the sake of a shot. The camera exists as an impartial narrator, there simply to tell the story.
Overall, a landmark American film. Discuss.