Movie Classic –
Screen Magazine from August, 1933
Has CHAPLIN Found His Great Love At Last? by Edwin Schallert
Charlie isn’t "the loneliest star in Hollywood" any longer. He's a new Chaplin, who goes places, does things, and looks happy. The reason is young Paulette Goddard – and their romance!
The saddest and the loneliest man in the movies has found his great love at last. Charlie Chaplin has been caught in the toils of a single romantic spell for more than a year that of the mysteriously attractive Paulette Goddard. And in the process he has discovered not only companionship but also perhaps, for the first time in his experience – real happiness. He goes places, he does things, he loves life anew. And, above all, he feels the magic of inspiration.
Before the year is over, Charlie will have made another picture – and this is no idle dream. He has plunged into work assiduously. He shuts himself up like a hermit when the urge is on, yet meanwhile he has also renewed many of his human contacts. He has found a brand new recreational interest, and that is water travel. Nearly every weekend he spends aboard his boat, the Panacea, named so because Charlie describes it as a "cure for all ills." Meaning chiefly by this, that the relaxation his maritiming has afforded has been of enormous benefit to his health.
Charlie may even go cruising to the South Seas in the sixty-foot yacht, although his picture making will probably claim him before this comes about. Fantastic stories have been circulated that he and Paulette Goddard are already married and will be separated and divorced at some stopping place on the voyage. The tale of their being wedded is widespread, the ceremony supposedly having occurred somewhere in mid-ocean. But this seems to be pretty much of a fable, and is met only with denials or light evasions by the two principals. Their close friends, who may or may not know anything, doubt the truth of the legend.
He Likes His Freedom
MARRIAGE is not something that Chaplin would exactly leap into now after two dismaying ventures. With him, the far princess" would always hold more allure than the conventional mate. As one of Charlie's close friends once said to me: "Marriage implies chains binding him, inhibiting his freedom, and his natural inclination would be to break them. Yet he might even be happy with a wife, if he didn't have to become acquainted with the relatives." It isn't the social graces that irk Chaplin; it's the bounden duties and dull, necessary obligations.
If there is one person who apparently has liberated him from these, it is Paulette Goddard. She has been the ideal companion for him, a delightful, gay and genial companion, happy above everything to listen to Charlie, to talk with him, and to accompany him wherever his fancy might dictate. And that range is large, indeed.
But they seem also to go to places that Charlie didn't formerly frequent. Together they take in the more interesting play premieres. They lunch and occasionally dine at the Brown Derby, Levy's, or other populous Hollywood cafes. They dance at the Cocoanut Grove. He has even gone shopping with Paulette. And that means that they are doing what other Hollywood folk are doing, and enjoying it. If Charlie enjoys these diversions, there must be a good live reason for it all – and that is somebody who will constantly and joyfully go with him.
Paulette is a bit of a mystery to Hollywood. But according to what looks like reliable information, she is now twenty-two (her birthday is June 2); she was born in Great Neck, Long Island, swanky New York suburb; she was divorced last year from Edgar James Goddard, wealthy young North Carolina lumber man; and she is supposed to have considerable money in her own right. She got her stage start at the age of fifteen by being signed by the late Great Glorifier, Florenz Ziegfeld, for the chorus of "Rio Rita." She entered the movies as a leading lady in Hal Roach comedies.
His Lonely Days Are Over
WITH Paulette at his side, Charlie has passed out of the "lonely man" stage. It's one thing he can't indulge any more, anyway. There are too many people who know him.
Once upon a time, he used to gaze pensively into store windows as, by himself, he walked down the Boulevard at midnight, doubtless recalling his early childhood poverty and window gazing. There were earlier times when he mingled with the crowd, a plaintive figure, observing and seeking out those human motifs that he later turned into gorgeous laughter with a curious undercurrent of sadness. There were other times when he appeared almost surprisingly in public with Mildred Harris Chaplin or Lira Grey Chaplin during his respective marriages to them. And again, there were occasions when his only associates were men – the chaps who worked with him on his pictures, or helped to stimulate inspiration for his film-making, like Harry d'Arrast, Harry Crocker, Carlyle Robinson, Monta Bell, his brother, Syd, and others on whom he seemed to rely.
Through the years, Charlie has retained most of these friendships, but he has been disillusioned by dozens of others. He loathes being taken advantage of, and he has found many who became advantage-takers after a close association, or even on short acquaintance. It might be just some trivial form of self-exploitation, when somebody utilized the Chaplin friendship as a means to ballyhoo the sale, say, of some choice antiques that he happened to possess, or traded on a few pleasant meetings with the comedian as an aid to selling Charlie a scenario – something he never buys. He has been cultivated, often relentlessly, by all kinds of petty self-seekers.
Is it any wonder that he has hidden from the world? That he has become more and more inaccessible as time has gone on? That he has seemed to become always more shy and retiring – yet showing flashes of strange pride that could easily he mistaken for crass vanity? (As when he refused to see a certain writer because the man intended to "lump" Chaplin in an article with others, rather than regard him as unique and separate.)
Chaplin, during this time, became a very erratic personage. He was difficult to approach, difficult for the majority to people to understand. You had to slip up on him unawares if you wanted to talk to him. He wouldn't make appointments, and if he did, he was likely not to keep them except under great duress. He rebelled whole-heartedly against any stiff and formal social engagements. He would give time only to his group of coworkers, to Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and a few other people, who are known as his bosom friends. He was well-nigh misanthropic.
The Chaplin of today hasn't changed his habits altogether, but his mood has mellowed. He has a greater and more human interest now in the things about him. Most of all, he enjoys life, with a newfound exuberance. He is like the old Chaplin.
His world trip had something to do with this, perhaps, for he had fun out of that – so much fun that he was tempted to write a series of articles about it. But the true beginning was during those gay and merry days of the summer of a year ago when beauty invaded Hollywood, as beauty never had invaded before. It all began during the filming of Eddie Cantor's "The Kid from Spain" – when admirers of feminine charm flocked to the United Artists Studio, and Chaplin (very artfully and slyly) was among them.
Paulette Goddard, of course, was in that chorus. I heard her name chanted the very first day I was on the set. She had registered as both fascinating and different. She wasn't one of the throng. She was more beauteous and distinctive than the rest, even though she had become, for the nonce, a blonde.
She wasn't among the beauties photographed in every still that came along. She avoided the obvious in publicity, and only a few of the pictures show her eerie radiance of countenance, and her thatch of platinum-like hair, and that dazzling, self-sufficient, but very feminine air that doubtless attracted Chaplin.
Charlie has remarked of her more than once that she is "wonderful," and has indicated that he considers her very beautiful. "She has a light," he avers, suggesting by his gesture that it spreads from her forehead.
That he was originally caught by her personality at the time she appeared in the Cantor picture is in some ways remarkable, for despite the fact that she did attract much individual attention, she was not the unusual type that she is to-day. Blonde hair makes all women more or less alike in the movie colony. It is supposed to soften the face, but in Paulette's case it had exactly the opposite effect. Since she has permitted her hair to become its more natural brunette shade, she is infinitely less flaunting and brittle looking than formerly; she exhibits a more delicate and better-molded beauty. Hollywood admits to seeing in her far more than at the outset. The colony never felt then that she had a future professionally. Once more, therefore, Charlie appears as the discoverer.
Will Be His Leading Lady
MISS GODDARD has definitely refused contract offers from several studios. She is waiting for her debut with Chaplin and Charlie forecasts that it will be a more glamorous one, possibly, than any leading woman has ever enjoyed in any of his productions.An appearance in a Chaplin picture always will be, probably, a plum for any young woman seeking a film career. Whether Paulette is intent on such a career is still a debatable question. It's possible that her ambition is far more intimate, and also more permanent than that. She's smart; everybody says that – even Charlie, himself.
Once, when Charlie was shopping with Paulette, he remarked to a woman friend who chanced to meet him: "You have no idea what a sensible girl she is – so much more sensible than most girls. She is very canny. She has her own money, and she takes excellent care of it. She is particular about finances, and I admire her independence. Too, she knows exactly what she wants to buy, and how much she wants to pay for it. Her taste is exceptional."
She has outwitted all the wiseacres who thought they knew all about Charlie, and his fitfulness and changeability. She may be Mrs. Chaplin already, but she can keep a secret as well as the comedian, himself. And that's keeping one!
Personally, I don't think Charlie and Paulette are married, but I believe they will be. Either their wedding – or the revelation of a wedding that has already taken place – will come as the climax of the picture, for apparently they both have a sense of the dramatic. It wouldn't be half so exciting to see Charlie in a film with his wife, as with the girl with whom he has been deeply in love. Head over heels this time! Although perhaps he doesn't realize it. I wonder, though, if Paulette doesn't know! Back to FILM topics
Mae West's Advice to Young Girls in Love by Gladys Hall
If there is anyone who ought to be able to tell girls how to "get their men” it's Mae. Men just naturally "go West." They'd like to know her better. And how does she interest them – and hold their interest? She's not afraid to tell you!
Mae West slouched down in a chair in her dressing room on the Paramount lot and told me how she gets her man – or men. She advised young girls how to do likewise. She told me how she gets her diamonds. She told me about her romances. She told me about The One Love of her life – the first and the last time she was ever really in love. And what it did to her.
Mae never sits upright unless aroused; she slouches. She was wearing a slinky black crepe dress, a short white fur coat with enormously puffed sleeves, a white hat on her blonde hair, a bit of white veil, and several "rocks" (diamonds, to you) the size of golf balls on fingers and bosom. She reminded me of a sleek cat – eyes half-closed, teeth slightly bared, indolent, insolent and liable to sudden fits of intense and ferocious life.
She is one hundred percent what she is. She does little or no acting on stage or screen. She is being herself. She couldn't be anything else. She wouldn't want to be. She loves herself.
She began to be cuh-razy about the boys when she was still in rompers in Brooklyn. The neighbors talked about her. Her father raised the roof about her. "But," said Mae, "my mother understood me. She'd tell 'em, 'Mae likes to play with boys better than with girls – what about it?’” That was enough for me. I used to hug 'em and kiss 'em. Those were the days when I thought a woman had to do the givin', not the takin’. It ain't that way now. I know different.
Be Crazy About Yourselves
"I get my man because I'm in love with myself. I'm crazy about myself. I'm more interested in myself and my own ambitions than I am in anyone else. That sets a high value on me, see? If I had to give advice to young girls on how to get their men, that'd be the first thing I'd tell 'em: “Be crazy about yourselves.” That’s one way.
"Another way is to make ‘em give till it hurts. Men have no use for a woman who doesn't get things out of them. Not cheap things, either.
"Here’s how I started, though – by falling in love. I mean LOVE. And there's only one love like that in any woman's lifetime. I was crazy about that man. I was nuts about him. I was only about sixteen or seventeen – but, say, I was old for my age. Developed. Everything. It hit me hard. I was so jealous of him, I felt sore all over when I saw him look at another girl.
"My mother didn't like him – not for me. And I thought a lot of my mother. I got to thinking about it, about him and me. And I says to myself, 'If you keep on like this, there won't be any Mae West.' There wouldn't have been, either. And I was in love with myself even then. I had lot of ambition. But if you think my ambition and my love for that man didn't go into the arena and fight until they were bloody, you're crazy.
"I knew I'd marry him if we kept on. I'd have a pack of kids. I don't want any kids. I don't now and I didn't then. But I knew I'd get wrapped up in him and his ambitions and all that. I'd be lost in the shuffle. I thought, 'Uh-uh! Not for me!' I went to Chicago to get away from him and I stayed there for two years – two years that pretty nearly finished me.
"I lost weight. I had big circles under my eyes. I looked like the wrath of God. Night after night, I'd sit with my hand on the telephone, ready to call Long Distance, to give his number, just to hear his voice again. I fought the temptation every night of those two years and I'm telling you now, it nearly wrecked me. Every time I'd win and take my hand off the receiver, I'd be limp and done-in. I tried everything. I tried other men. I couldn't even be nice to a man unless there was something about him like that other man – unless he had his ears or eyes, or walked like he walked, or was the type or something. I had to keep saying to myself, 'Not for you, baby . . .'
Not Giving Her Heart Away
Well, I beat it. But I was really in love then for the first and last time in my life. It has never happened to me again. It never will happen to me again. I don't know how I got to talking about it now. Now, I can take 'em or leave "em. I'm just like a man with my romances – here today and gone tomorrow.
"And I've had a lot of romances. I'm no angel." (That, by the way, is the title of Mae's new picture – "I'm No Angel.") "But none of 'em ever really get me downright moody. Men are conveniences to me, nothing more. If they can help me in any way, socially or financially, I can lie nice to 'em . . ." (Can't you just hear Mae West saying that?)
"I got my first diamond from that first man. He had two – a scarf-pin and a ring. One night he said he thought the stone in the scarf-pin would look swell on me. I asked him where he'd got it. He said a dame had given it to him. I burned up. I could've killed him for that. I acted insulted. I said, 'D' you think I'd wear a rock another dame has given you?' Then I said, 'But that ring – I might – take – that…' I got the ring. He had it set up new for me. See, he thought I was doing him a favor by wearing that ring. He thought I was being nice to him because I'd take it, "I get my diamonds and my men by being mean to them. I act ill tempered. I won't talk to 'em. I say I guess I don’t want to see 'em any more. I act so mean they have to do something to put me in a good humor – so they give me diamonds.
"There's a lot of difference in the way you've got to treat men. It's a game, and you've got to know the rules. Take me – if a man is conceited, if he's like these movie actors who’ve had such a big fuss made over over them and think every woman is ready to fall for them, I'm mean to them. I pretend not to know they're in the same room with me. I never even glance in their direction. I know 'em one day and the next day I don't recognize 'em. I keep 'em like this – " And Mae wiggle-waggled her capable, be-diamonded hand. "There's an actor on this lot right now, who's nuts about me, and has been for a long time. I'm nice to him one day and cold as Ice to him the next day.
He doesn't know whether I'm comin" or goin'. No, I won't tell you his name. That wouldn't be fair.
"But if a man is very shy and self-conscious and timid, you've got to act different. When a man like that is around me, I always make a fuss over him. If he's got some defect, for instance, or something he's self-conscious about, I always make it a point to flatter him about that very thing. I make him feel so comfortable and so pleased with himself that I become the only apple in his eyes.
"Like a prize-fighter I know. He had a bum nose. He was ashamed of it. He talked about having it ironed out. I told him to do nothing of the kind. I told him it was his nose that gave him that virile look, that made him different from other men. He just couldn't stay away from me after awhile. He couldn't get along without me. He just had to be around me.
"Women have to be different to get – and keep – their men. They've got to think up tricks, something new all the time. They've got to dope out new moves in the old game. They've got to startle and surprise their men. I'll illustrate what I mean:
"One time I wanted a certain producer in New York to put on an act for me, when I was doing vaudeville. He was a very important man and everyone was after him. I went to his office one day with another girl, who wanted him to put an act on for her. While she was talking her head off to him, I sat down in a chair, turned it around so my back was to him and – went to sleep. I hadn't said a word to him – just 'howjado’ when I first came in. When the other girl was ready to go, she had to wake me up and I just strolled out slow, like this, and drawled. 'Er, goo-by.' I'd just got back to my hotel when he telephoned me and asked me out to dinner.
"The end of that story is that he put an act on for me and he didn't put the act on for the other girl. If I hadn't gone to sleep he'd never have noticed me. But he was nuts about me and he did put on the act and I guess he must have spent over three thousand dollars for clothes alone. And most of them I bought were street clothes for personal wear. Only one or two dresses were really for the act. But by that time he was so nuts about me he didn't know the difference. And I didn't let it get serious either. When he'd start to make love to me, I'd start to shake all over and go for him and say, 'Oh, quit it, can't you – can't you see I'm nervous, shaking all over like this? Wait, will you, this is business – wait till the act is on and my nerves calm down – ' And we parted good friends, at that.
She Says, "Look Feminine"
Then, if I were advising girls how to get their men, I'd tell 'em to put on a few pounds so they'd look like women and I'd tell 'em to dress just a little bit like Lou in “She Done Him Wrong.” I'd tell 'em to use some of her stuff. The way the girls of to-day dress is all wrong.
"It all came about after the World War. Food was scarce everywhere and women got thin and slatty, especially in Paris – and everyone knows that Paris sets the styles. It became the style. Then, these costume designers, these men dressmakers design masculine-looking things for women. The result is that they've made women look more like men than women. That's no way. When a woman comes into a room where men are, they should know that WOMAN is there.
"When I was making 'She Done Him Wrong' and wearing all those corsets and trains and frills and everything, you should've seen how the 'grips' and 'prop' men treated me. They'd run around to get me a chair and help me to be seated. They had respect for me. They showed me courtesy. It's like a woman stepping elegantly from a limousine, compared to a girl in slacks jumping out of a flivver. The woman from the limousine is given the best chair, and the girl is told to flop anywhere.
"I remember a woman who used to come to our house when I was a kid. My father wanted to know why we had her sitting around. She wore high collars 'way up under her ears, you know the kind. And lots of jewels and laces. She had a swell figure and used a lot of perfume and she talked kinda slow and drawly with her eyes half-closed – I thought she was swell. She was mysterious. She made you wonder. She had glamour. She had sex. Everybody felt it. "You've got to make them want you first, of course, by being a woman and making them conscious of it. You've got to play a game, with a lot of new moves all the time. Then you've got to be mean to 'em so they'll do anything to put you in a good humor again. That's the way I work it. That's the way I get my man – and my diamonds." Back to FILM topics