May 22nd, 2020

carole lombard 05
  • vp19

Mass appeal: In Philly, 'Godfrey' gets Catholic approval

It's arguably the greatest screwball comedy ever made, but Carole Lombard's 1936 classic "My Man Godfrey" has fans all over the place. Even in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Its publication,, recently ran a piece from the Catholic News Service about 15 quality Golden Age films that have lapsed into public domain for one reason or another, and thus are easy to find ( "Godfrey" was among those listed:

Other films range from the original "The Front Page" (1931) to the Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant vehicle "Charade" (1963). It's a solid list, covering a variety of genres.

What's interesting is that Philadelphia was among the reasons "Godfrey" was made in the first place. A boycott of city theaters by a group called the Legion of Decency in early 1934 led the industry to more strictly enforce the Production Code, helping spark the rise of screwballs such as "Godfrey" as a substitute for material many deemed salacious.

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