His Butler's Sister


1h 34m 1943

Film Details

Also Known As
My Girl Godfrey
Release Date
Nov 26, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,424ft

Synopsis

Broadway composer Charles Gerard is constantly harassed by stagestruck performers wanting to break into show business. When singer Ann Carter attempts to audition for him, she is sent to the wrong train compartment and ends up singing for a traveling girdle salesman instead. Ann then arrives in New York City and goes to Charles' estate, where she thinks her older half-brother Martin, who has told her he is a wealthy businessman, lives. In actuality, Martin is Charles's butler, and the composer mistakes Ann for the new maid. With the help of Severina, the cook, Ann forces her brother to hire her as a maid, and she immediately draws the attentions of Martin's friends: fellow butlers Popoff, Buzz Jenkins, Moreno, Reeves and chauffeur Emmett. That night, Charles has a dinner party whose guests include theatrical producer Mortimer Kalb, theatrical agent Fields, Lady Sloughberry and Elizabeth Campbell, Charles's socialite girl friend. Elizabeth, who disapproves of Charles' friends and associates, convinces him to stop working on his play and go with her to Maine. The next day, Charles gives Martin permission to fire Ann, so she decides to perform for the composer. Charles, however, mistakenly assumes her singing is coming from a nearby radio. Later, Ann tries to audition for Kalb, but he is more interested in her figure than her voice. Charles then arrives to tell Kalb that he is quitting the unfinished show, but Ann tells Charles that he will not be happy if he gives up his career. That night, Ann is invited to Popoff's birthday party at a Russian restaurant, where she is offered jobs in the households of her various servant suitors. Charles arrives at the restaurant just as Ann finishes singing a medley of Russian songs and tells her that he has decided to take her advice and finish Kalb's show. Charles and Ann quickly fall in love, but Martin fears that his employer is merely toying with his young sister. The overprotective brother tells Charles that the stagestruck Ann is only using him to advance her own career. Charles then breaks off his relationship with Ann and prepares to return to Elizabeth in Maine. Martin is fired as well, but convinces the heartbroken Ann to stay in New York with him, rather than return to their hometown in Indiana. The two go to the Butler's Ball that night, where Charles, as a non-servant, is refused entrance until he pretends to be Severina's cousin. The cook then informs her employer that Ann and Martin are siblings, and after hearing Ann sing, Charles realizes that hers is the voice he has been searching for, and the two are reunited.

Film Details

Also Known As
My Girl Godfrey
Release Date
Nov 26, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,424ft

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1943

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was My Girl Godfrey. The film's title initially was His Butler's Sister, but was changed to My Girl Godfrey while the film was in pre-production, then changed back to the original title once production began. In March 1941, Hollywood Reporter announced that Universal was planning to make a film entitled His Butler's Sister, which was to star Deanna Durbin and be produced by Bruce Manning, directed by William A. Seiter, and written by Felix Jackson, who is credited as producer on the 1943 film. It has not been determined if any elements from the earlier, planned production were used in the released film. The film opens with the following written foreword: "The Food, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles consumed or used in this picture are purely imaginary and have no relation to any actual Foods, Drinks, Clothes, Shoes, Rubber, Gas and other articles of today, rationed or unrationed. Any resemblance is purely accidental. This is a fable of the day before yesterday." According to Universal press materials, the Russian medley performed by Deanna Durbin included elements from the Russian folk songs "Yamschtschick," "Kalitka" and "Two Guitars." Bernard B. Brown was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Sound Recording, but lost to E. H. Hansen's work on the Twentieth Century-Fox film Wilson . On February 7, 1944, Deanna Durbin, Pat O'Brien and Franchot Tone reprised their roles in a radio version of this film for the Lux Radio Theatre.