Perhaps Carole Lombard's most iconic movie, "My Man Godfrey," is getting the DVD treatment from classic film specialist Criterion.
No, this is not a repeat of a Carole & Co. entry from summer 2001 (for one thing, the site wasn't born for another six years). And many of you probably own that edition (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/19370.html), whose cover echoes the 1936 film's streamline credits:
That release of arguably the greatest screwball comedy of them all -- and that includes you, "Bringing Up Baby" -- had plenty of features, including outtakes (there's nothing quite like a Lombard outtake), a trailer, the 1938 "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation and Depression-era newsreels illustrating the period. This version has not only retains those extras, but adds several more:
* A new high-definition digital restoration. (If you thought the 2001 "Godfrey" was a quantum leap from all those shoddy public domain prints, this promises to take things one step further.) In addition, the Blu-ray version has an uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
* Gary Giddins, a superlative critic of both jazz and film, contributes a piece about the movie.
* Critic Nick Pinkerton discusses the career of director Gregory La Cava, whose credits include the unorthodox "Gabriel Over The White House" (above, with Walter Huston and Karen Morley), the feminist Broadway drama "Stage Door" and many other films including "Big News," perhaps the best of Carole's three talkies for Pathe.
* An essay by classic film writer Farran Smith Nehme, aka "The Self-Styled Siren."
And while we're at it, we may as well show you the packaging for Criterion "Godfrey" 2.0:
I think the background is supposed to symbolize the shacks at the city dump where the film opens, but with all the lights in the houses, it more closely evokes 1950s suburbia. (Make Godfrey look more like David Niven than William Powell, and this could be an ideal cover for a release of the 1957 remake -- not that Criterion would issue a version of that pointless film.)
Have I whetted your excitement about this release? Well, before you start salivating like a Pavlovian canine, hold your horses -- this won't be available for another three months. This new, improved Criterion "Godfrey" will be issued Sept. 18...and don't fret if you're not into Blu-ray, as it'll also come out in a DVD edition. (The price: $31.96 for the former, $23.96 for the latter.)
To order, visit https://www.criterion.com/films/653-my-man-godfrey. Godfrey, Irene, bratty sister Cornelia and company eagerly await your visit to their upgraded abode.