Today's one worth celebrating for Carole Lombard fans. That's because arguably her best-known film (and only Oscar-nominated performance), "My Man Godfrey," is back on DVD -- this time in a new blu-ray version from the Criterion Collection. (A traditional DVD version also is available.)
Both versions have the features Criterion added to its initial "Godfrey" release in 2001, in addition to some new ones this time around. We wrote about the new version about three months ago (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/913891.html), and now I can provide additional details. First, more on the packaging, which looks exquisite:
Cute caricatures of Godfrey and Irene at the scavenger hunt.
A recent review from Blu-ray Authority praised the updated version: https://www.blurayauthority.com/blu-ray/my-man-godfrey-criterion-collection-blu-ray/. "Trailers From Hell" gave approval as well: https://trailersfromhell.com/my-man-godfrey-2/.
And the independent site CriterionForum.org was similarly effusive (http://criterionforum.org/DVD-review/my-man-godfrey-blu-ray/the-criterion-collection/2024). Here are some screen grabs from the blu-ray:
One extra I'm particularly thrilled about is an essay on the film from Facebook friend Farran Smith Nehme, a lady who knows her classic movies. And while I recommend purchasing the movie, Criterion issued the essay at its site today, and it's every bit as sharp as I'd expect from her. It's at https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/5928-my-man-godfrey-the-right-kind-of-people.
Nehme begins with "Ask people to name a screwball comedy, and the title you're very likely to hear first is 'My Man Godfrey.'" I'm a bit skeptical about that -- casual movie buffs are probably more familiar with "Bringing Up Baby," as Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are far more recognizable to them than Powell and Lombard -- but once past that, it's brilliantly written, and notices how Carole's masterful line delivery gives her Irene Bullock character the texture and heart other actresses (think Constance Bennett, director Gregory La Cava's initial choice for the role until Powell insisted on his ex-wife) might not have been able to supply.
Nehme's essay replaces one from Diane Jacobs for the 2001 version. That can be found at https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/123-my-man-godfrey.
Finally, I discovered this recipe Powell gave a celebrity cookbook in 1940. Did he ever make it for Lombard (or for new wife Diana Lewis)? I don't know, but it's fun to share anyway: https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/2385-chef-du-cinema-my-man-godfrey