My Man Godfrey(1936) has always been one of my all-time favorite films. The Godfrey of the title is a derelict (William Powell) who, after meeting wealthy and eccentric Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard), is hired as a butler in the zany Bullock household. It’s a really fun hour and a half, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do.
Godfrey‘s opening credits are very distinctive and very well-integrated with the storyline. The names (and titles, if necessary) of the cast and crew are designed like neon signs on buildings near the riverfront. The camera pans right, showing all the names in turn, ending on a painting of the city dump, where Godfrey, along with other “forgotten men,” makes his home. The painting dissolves into the first shot of the film.
I’ve included the screencaps below in case anyone wants to get a closer look.
Opening credit sequence – MY MAN GODFREY
The Godfrey typeface’s geometrical forms and low bars are very typical of the art deco type commonly used in the 1920s and 1930s. After some research, I think the closest you can get today is probably Semplicita Pro by CanadaType. You can “test drive” it here.
TCM Week spotlights a highly subjective selection of the week’s essential or undiscovered films on the Turner Classic Movies channel to help plan movie viewing, DVR scheduling or TCM Party attendance. All times are EST. Monday, February 6 Plenty of WWII movies today as TCM takes us to Eastern Europe and The Netherlands as part of the travel-themed 31 Days of Oscar.
4:15 p.m. Once Upon a Honeymoon
The rare Cary Grant movie I haven’t seen, in which his character tries to rescue Ginger Rogers’ from her ill-advised marriage to a Nazi.
6:15 p.m. To Be or Not To Be 1942 A crazy bunch of thespians including Carole Lombard and Jack Benny cope with the Nazi occupation of Poland and attempt in their own eccentric way to aid the Resistance.
8:00 p.m. Foreign Correspondent 1940 ***TCM PARTY*** Britain was at war with Germany but the Blitz hadn’t yet begun, and the USA’s entry into WWII was over a year away, when Alfred Hitchcock started shooting Foreign Correspondent. As the newsreel-style trailer suggests, the plot is ripped from the headlines. American newspaperman Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea) is dispatched to Europe to get the truth about the growing international crisis. Jones,with the help of a British reporter (George Sanders), attempts to unravel the asssassination of a Dutch official, as the leader of the Universal Peace Party (Herbert Marshall) and his daughter (Laraine Day) complicate matters. Hitchcock definitely intended to sway US hearts and minds, but he also created a suspenseful, compelling and underrated film, one of my all-time favorites.Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
Tuesday, February 7
8:00 p.m. Decision Before Dawn 1952
Along with Powell and Pressburgers The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, this is one of the few films made during or just after WWII that portrayed Germans as potentially noble human beings instead of bloodthirsty killing machines.
Wednesday, February 8 11:45 a.m. The Search 1948
I’ve never seen this film, shot in documentary style in still-ruined Nuremberg after WWII. A boy (Ivan Jandl) who survived a death camp is adopted by an American soldier (pre-stardom Montgomery Clift) while the boy’s mother (Jarmila Novotna) looks for him.
8:00 p.m. State Fair 1933 ***TCM PARTY*** Hosted by @hockmangirl
Love and drama among farmers’ sons & daughters at the Iowa state fair in this “affectionate slice of Americana.” Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
Thursday, February 9
10:45 a.m. The Public Enemy 1931
James Cagney’s portrayal of a volatile street criminal on the South Side of Chicago made him a star.
10:30 p.m. Written on the Wind 1956
Douglas Sirk’s dramatic commentary on the American upper class, starring Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall and Robert Stack.
Friday, February 10
3:00 a.m. Portrait of Jennie 1948
A starving artist (Joseph Cotten) finds inspiration when he falls in love with a beautiful girl (Jennifer Jones) who just happens to be a ghost.
Saturday, February 11 8:00 p.m. Wait Until Dark 1967 ***TCM PARTY*** This movie scares the heck out of me…Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman held captive in her home by evil thugs. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
10:00 p.m. The Apartment 1960 ***TCM PARTY*** Bud Baxter (Jack Lemmon), an ambitious employee, thinks it’s a good idea to let his married boss (Fred MacMurray) use his apartment for trysts with girls from the office. Until the elevator operator Bud’s in love with (Shirley MacLaine) is one of those seduced and abandoned. It’s a pointed satire of corporate (im)morals, with some comedy, sweetness, and chemistry between Lemmon and MacLaine to take the edge off. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
Sunday, February 12
10:15 a.m. It Should Happen to You 1954
Another of my favorite Jack Lemmon movies, it also happens to be his first film, which eerily predicts the rise of reality stars who are famous for being famous, all hype and no talent. Judy Holliday is an unemployed model who gambles with her last dime on a billboard with her name on it and wins. But is fame all it’s cracked up to be?