- Wonderful in Modern Times with Chaplin.
- I doubt anyone loves Paulette Goddard more than I do. She''s wonderful in Modern Times, The Great Dictator, and steals The Women hands down. She was gorgeous, funny, a unique talent and one smart cookie. She was loved by some of the world''s coolest men - Chapllin, Remarque, Rivera, Gershwin, Meredith. And she had great jewelry.\
But I disagree that she and not Vivien Leigh should have played Scarlett.
- Too Jewish, probably, for Selznick.
- No one but Vivien Leigh should have played Scarlett. But Paulette Goddard would have been my very close second choice. Beautiful, smart, funny, good actress.
- I''ve only seen her in the O''Hara screen test she did. She was wonderful in it.
- Edna Mae Oliver would''ve been truer to the book. It starts out "Scarlett O''Hara was not beautiful".
- Wasn''t she supposed to play Scarlett, but when she couldn''t prove that her marriage to Charlie Chaplin was legitimate, was not chosen?\
I love the stories about Paulette Goddard. Her life story would make an excellent movie. I love that she took the gems from all of her engagement rings and had them put on a necklace.
- At the studio during the making of ''Modern Times'' the joke was that there was more than one little tramp on the set.
- She seemed like a really fun broad.
- I didn''t know she was in The Women. I''d only seen her in Modern Times and thought she was gorgeous and kind of...modern.
- I think Thelma Ritter would have been a *wonderful* Scarlett.
- [quote]I think Thelma Ritter would have been a *wonderful* Scarlett.\
With Marie Dressler as Ellen O''Hara.
- I always thought she was very beautiful in the contemporary sense. You look at pics of her back then and almost mistake them for being taken recently.
- When Paulette died she left $20 million to NYU.
- From "Marlene Dietrich" by Maria Riva (p. 641):
"It was one of those terrible trips on the train, on the way to Hollywood, before we took airplanes. Paulette Goddard was on the train--I think it was when she was still married to Chaplin, or maybe it was later with Aherne or Jean. I can't remember, but it was someone, and I told her how he had treated me badly and she stood up, left, then came back schlepping a large jewelry case--a trunk! Like those that jewelers use when they come to your hotel to show you their whole store-- They are made of ugly Moroccan leather and have drawers? Well, Goddard had one of those in a l l i g a t o r, and it was full! Nothing but diamonds! Like rocks! And she says to me, very serious, like a professor: 'Marlene, you have to get diamonds. Colored stones are worth nothing. Only pure white stones have lasting value. A man wants you? It's easy! You say no, right away. The next day, he sends you long-stemmed roses, you send them back. The next day, when his orchids arrive, you send them back. His little gifts, expensive perfume, handbags from Hermes, mink coats--things like that, you send everything back. Rubies and diamond clips--back, even emerald and diamond pins. When the first diamond bracelet arrives, it's usually small, so you send i t back, but you call him and say thank you--sweetly. The next day, when the larger diamond bracelet arrives, you send that back, but now, you let him take you out to lunch--nothing else! The first diamond r i n g never is big--give it back, but say yes to dinner...go dancing. The only thing you have to always remember: N e v e r, e v e r sleep with a man until he gives you a pure white stone of at least ten carats!"
My mother always intoned this credo in a stage whisper, full of breathless admiration, then paused, adding:
"It's true! She really said all that to me. It must work! She has all those enormous diamonds. Terrible woman! But isn't it amazing how those women do it? Get away with it like that?"
Good thing Dietrich didn''t adopt that strategy or all those GIs would never have got their end away.
- She really did have a modern look.
- It''s odd that I find her grating and impossible to tolerate in later movies when I like her in "The Women" -- a movie I loathe, mainly because it was changed to be an even MORE sexist version of the stage play. She''s one of the few good things about that movie. Virginia Grey is the other one. \
She also seems like an absolute riot in real life. I love her advice on diamonds.
- Fact filled article on her life/death
- She''s hysterical in KITTY, a FOREVER AMBER type of story that is miles better than the FOREVER AMBER movie.
- Paulette Goddard played my favorite character in THE WOMEN, the sassy and very sharp Miriam Aarons. I love that character. She also gave a great performance in Charlie Chaplin’s MODERN TIMES. What a beautiful and talented woman. \
I agree with r4. I can’t imagine anyone playing Scarlett O’Hara but Vivian Leigh, except for Paulette.
- Great article about Paulette, thanks for posting. But where did all of Erich''s millions come from? What did he write besides All Quiet on the Western Front?
- Andy Warhol was her walker for several years. There are many entries about her in his diaries, most of which detail her rudeness and her narcissism.
- That''s a great story, R20. Thanks for the link.
- Andy Warhol found someone else narcissistic?
- Thanks, R20 -- very good article. But who hangs Renoirs (or any other paintings) outdoors? The only person I''ve seen do that was Sandra Lee, in one of her picnic episodes where she decorates the trees.
- I saw that movie, "Kitty", once when I was a kid and home with flu. I thought it was fantastic--she keeps marrying up and up, and Ray Milland (dressed in 18th century clothing) keeps insulting her. \
The next day I thought the whole thing was a dream I''d had. Very weird & satisfying film.
- Diary of a Chambermaid, Renoir''s film, is also very weird and dreamlike.\
One thing I found so compelling and unique about Goddard was her voice, sweet and quirky yet also grand, like an animated character from Fractured Fairy Tales.
- In Paulette''s big scene with Norma Shearer at the dude ranch in Reno in The Women, her makeup, hairstyling and attitude give her a far more modern look than the Queen of the Lot. They look decades apart. This scene alone must have caused Norma''s early self-retirement from the screen.
- R21, count me another fan of KITTY. But I''m a sucker for Mitchell Leisen. Totallly underrated film.
- She was gorgeous! Loved her in The Women.
- KITTY has one thing that 99% of all ''costume'' pictures don''t have: a witty script with lots of cheeky humor. It never drags. One of the funniest scenes features Constance Collier (as Lady Susan Dowitt) instructing Kitty on "the language of the fan".
- I will be looking for Kitty on TCM.
- She was beautiful, but I don''t think she was a very good actress. I''ve seen her in several films, and she wasn''t very good in a lot of them.\
While her look may be fairly modern, I don''t think her acting was. She usually seemed artificial and stagey to me, like someone reciting lines in the style of that period, rather than a real person.
- Great story, r20!
- For someone with such a modern countenance, she often found herself, inexplicably, in period films.
- Good luck with that, R34. It isn''t owned by TCM although they did show it fairly recently and even then Robert Osborn announced that this was the first time in 15 years that it had been shown on television. Their print wasn''t that good (fuzzy like the Cybill Shepard scenes on Moonlighting). They used to show it frequently on AMC before they started sucking-that''s where I saw it first in college and waited patiently these 15 years to see it again.
All 3 of us have titles...Mine''s the best of all.
- Scarlett was supposed to look like a fresh faced ingenue at least in the beginning. Paulette looked like a hard faced street hooker.
- Are you all blind? She be ooglay.
- r39, that is EXACTLY what George Cukor even TOLD her during her screen tests. You hear him say off camera "Soften your face. You look so hard." She could hardly have passed for an 18 year old ingenue. \
Vivien could and did, even though she was 26 and they had to re-shoot the opening scene on the steps of Tara because even SHE looked haggard and tired from so much filming.
- Someone technically clever really needs to post that clip of her GWTW screentest if this thread is to continue. \
She clearly looks way too harsh.
- Did someone call IT Desktop Support?
- That 5-head of hers caused Mitchell Leisen mucho headaches on the set of Bride Of Vengeance.
Do I smell smoke
- The GWTW screentests are ridiculous, I can''t believe some of those awful broads were even considered. And to think that Paulette would have been Scarlett if Selznick hadn''t met Vivien... that would have been a monumental flop.\
Scarlett O''Hara, 40 year old 10 cents street whore.
- OMG what the fuck is that Jean Arthur broad. Her voice sounds like Donald Duck trapped in a chimney, and she is ugly.
- I agree with those who say only Vivien Leigh could play Scarlett, I do think Paulette Goddard''s screentest was stonger than Leigh''s.
- Vivien Leigh is the only actress in the screen tests who makes you think you''re seeing her performance in the actual film. She''s already nailed it! Joan Bennett seemed far better than Paulette, who comes off as absolutely psycho in some of the more heated moments. You just know Paulette was being pushed onto Cukor by libidinous Selznick.\
Thanks for posting the clip r43. Does the sound go in and out (esp. in the last couple of minutes) or was that my computer? Loved the hair and makeup tests on Gable and Howard....are there more of those? Gable is beyond charismatic hot, even in these!
- Paulette Goddard was one hell of an amazing woman and a very cool actress, her own gal. I disagree with those who call her "modern" in the sense of contemporary, she was very much a woman of her time, and could be gamine or street wise depending on the role, with equal conviction.
Her Reno scene lovingly confronting Shearer to wise up in The Women is one of the few scenes of true friendship in that movie, and Goddard nails it with a sense of assured comedy and heartfelt emotion. She's also brilliant in her first scene on the train with Shearer and Mary Boland and her unique glamor takes the movie to another level.
Vivien Leigh, however, was something else altogether. One of the most brilliant film actresses of all time and the only person who should have played Scarlett. I do, however, think that Goddard could have been at least credible and possibly wonderful in the role. I disagree with those who don't see her as being capable of being soft, her very sweet, charming, and legendary work for Chaplin in Modern Times and The Great Dictator proves otherwise, as do those wisecracking but tender moments with Shearer in The Women.
- Goddard seems clearly the best in the tests. Even Leigh seems to be mugging and overplaying.\
Goddard would have had the part if not for the questions about her marriage to Chaplin.
- Vivien Leigh can''t act.\
She indicates all over the place.\
Paulette Goddard would''ve been a much better Scarlett.\
It doesn''t matter, though, because it''s one of the most embarrassingly awful and racist films ever made. Every print should be destroyed.
- [quote]It doesn''t matter, though, because it''s one of the most embarrassingly awful and racist films ever made. Every print should be destroyed.\
- There is something angry and driven that comes through in Leigh''s tests. I''m not sure if she was aware of it or using it as an actress, but it is perfect for the Scarlett part.\
Goddard is a competent, very pretty, leading lady. She could have played the part, but it would have lacked depth.
- Paulette was a goddess!
- Paulette is also quite good in So Proudly We Hail, a 1943 Paramount film about WWII nurses. Paulette got an Oscar nomination for playing a sexy nurse who falls for a soldier. Claudette Colbert and Veronica Lake were the other two stars. Colbert and Goddard did not get along during the shoot after Goddard told an interviewer she preferred working with Lake because she was closer in age to Lake. Colbert went ballistic. Lake is quite good as an angry woman who wants to kill Japanese to avenge her fiance''s death at Pearl Harbor.
- Thanks for your post, R55--I was about to mention "So Proudly We Hail" myself.\
Paulette ends up with Sonny Tufts. Claudette ends up with George Reeves (seen mainly in shadow). But Veronica Lake sticks a grenade in her bra before walking toward a machine gun nest of Japanese. They don''t make ''em like that anymore.
You know what those Nips do to white women, don''t you?
- Paulette couldn''t be Scarlett, cause Scarlett is fucking 16 in the beginning and by the end she''s 28. 28. Paulette. looked. 40. Get it? Good.
- I remember as a kid discovering Paulette in the 1942 Paramount all-star war propaganda musical Star Spangled Rhythm in a cute number she sang with Dorothy Lamour and Veronica Lake called: A Sweater, a Sarong and a Peek-a-boo Bang. \
She was The Sweater.\
I watched it originally on The Early Show but it''s on youtube now.
- Years ago I read a bio written by one of Chaplin''s sons. He had nothing good to say about his stepmother.\
Apparently she would "force" her two adolescent stepsons to climb into bed with her and deliberately turn them on sexually. Thought it was hilarious.\
All kinds of other anecdotes I wish I could clearly remember about her parsimony, narcissism, just general horribleness. \
Wish I could remember the name of that book.\
- [quote]Apparently she would "force" her two adolescent stepsons to climb into bed with her and deliberately turn them on sexually. Thought it was hilarious.\
Yeah, that''s a real healthy and proper thing to do with your stepkids.
- Sorry. I meant to type *she* thought it was hilarious. Those boys sure didn''t.
- Jean Arthur just got the GWTW audition because Selznick had been in love with her when he was younger. \
She''d have made a terrible Scarlett--too human and modern. But oh, her voice!
- Obviously, a lot of the purported nation-wide search for the actress to play Scarlett was somewhat of a publicity stunt but I wonder if any of those clips of the auditions were seen by the public at the time they were made? Like in those newsreels shown before the main features? How fantastic that someone had the foresight to preserve them.\
More likely they were great entertainment at some of Selznick''s stag parties.
- I think Joan Bennett is better in the tests than Goddard. Not the equal of Leigh, but not bad at all.
- Only Vivien Leigh and Joan Bennett come close in the tests to looking like Mitchell''s physical description of Scarlett so right there, they''re ahead.
- One would have thought than a woman so keen on collecting pure, white diamonds would have no need to make this film. Unless, of course, she was promised some as her salary.\
Of course, I am dying to see it.
- There''s a very funny photo of Goddard in a wardrobe test for some historical DeMille epic (Reap the Wild Wind?) dressed in Indian buckskins and beads wearing HIGH-HEELED moccasins because DeMille couldn''t bear to see his leading ladies in flat shoes. Wish I could find the photo online!
- [quote]Goddard would have had the part if not for the questions about her marriage to Chaplin.\
I doubt that was a factor. Leigh and Olivier were sleeping together (and living together, I think) by the time of GWTW, yet both were married to other people. If it wasn''t a problem for Leigh, it wouldn''t have been for Goddard.
- You don''t get it, R69. The world didn''t know that Leigh and Olivier were cheating on their spouses with each other. Chaplin and Goddard didn''t hide the fact that they were living together. \
Adultery in private was one thing. Openly living together out of wedlock was another. It was largely considered unacceptable in those days.
- Goddard and Chaplin were supposedly married. Selznick was skeptical of the validity of the marriage; the ceremony was allegedly conducted onboard a ship off the coast of China or some such.\
But whether or not Goddard and Chaplin were legally married was probably a moot point once they saw Leigh''s tests.
- In hindsight, I think once they found Vivien Leigh, serious consideration of any of the other contenders was only manufactured to make the selection of Leigh a more momentous triumph. If you catch my drift.....
Irene Mayer Selznick
- Irene''s book was a great read.
- If you hate homophobia, you will stop using the c-word.\
Violence against women is anti-gay violence.\
Stop the hate.
- r19, in what way is the stage version of The Women more sexist - or in any way significantly altered - from Luce''s play? I don''t see it.
- GWTW is a 1939 movie The Women is a 1939 movie.\
If Goddard would have been and looked 40 in GWTW she would have been and looked 40 in The Women.\
If she looks 40 to you in The Women then 40 must have been the new 30 in 1939.
- Goddard was 3 years older than Leigh.\
- Hattie McDaniel should have played Scarlett. Sho nuff
- Paulette Goddard under the Mexican sun. July, 1940
- If there's ever a remake, Cillian Murphy was born to play Scarlett.
In addition, she's an Irish lassie.
- Actually, if you want to see what Paulette would have been like as Scarlett, watch "Reap the Wild Wind." It's essentially the same part.
- Tonight (2/20/13) at 8 PM EST, TCM is showing HOLD BACK THE DAWN. The leads are Charles Boyer and Olivia deHavilland, but Goddard has a saucy supporting role and looks gorgeous. It's also a great romance.
- Tyrone Power and Paulette Goddard descend from the Stratoliner on its arrival at La Guardia Airport. They were among several Hollywood celebrities who made the first flight from West to East. August, 1940
- Love Goddard! But am very happy that Leigh played Scarlett.
- Goddard could break your heart in the right role - Modern Times, The Great Dictator, even that spunky/tender scene from The Women in which she wises up Shearer (Paulette plays it beautifully hitting all the notes) - but I am not at all sure she could have given Scarlett anything like the gravitas or the foggy simple-mindedness that Leigh did. Goddard was, first and foremost, a smart and sexy cookie, not a beautiful fool.
- Actors Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard take a break from skiing for tea, St. Moritz, Switzerland, 1946. She married him in 1944 and they got a divorce in 1949.
- Leslie Howard served up Big Dick Face
- I suspect that she was bisexual. Did Crawford managed to 'date' her?
Paulette Goddard and Erich Maria Remarque at their home in Ascona, Switzerland
- Paulette Goddard and her mother, Alta Mae, at the El Mirador Hotel, Palm Springs
- Goddard with good friend Joan Crawford (1972).
So they were friends as i see...nothing more?
- Not in my book. Vivian Leigh gives one of the greatest performances of an actress on film ever. She nails Scarlette OHara in every way.
- I read that she was bi. It fits in a way. So was she really?
- Yes, Paulette Goddard was indeed bisexual.
- As her popularity and profile soared, Goddard continued to court scandal. Even as questions still lingered about her "marriage" with Chaplin, she carried on torrid romances with the likes of composer George Gershwin, writer H.G. Wells and director Anatole Litvak. The latter was dining with Goddard at Ciro's in Hollywood when her diamond shoulder strap fell off and under the table. Litvak went down to retrieve it, and by the next morning, tongues were wagging across town that Litvak had been performing oral sex on Goddard at Ciro's. The story was repeated so often, embellished each time, that it would dog Goddard for the rest of her life, and derailed Litvak's career for several years.
There were whispers of Goddard's dalliances with women, as well. She reportedly had an affiar with the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo ("If only one of them had been blonde," mused Salvador Dali, "they'd have made a perfectly beautiful couple!"); and in the late 1940's, Goddard's close friendship with actress Evelyn Keyes (who, ironically, had played Scarlett O'Hara's sister Suellen in Gone with the Wind) gave gossip-mongers something to talk about, especially when Goddard briefly moved into the home Keyes was sharing with then-boyfriend Peter Lawford, prompting rumors of a ménage à trois. As David Selznick's chief of publicity, Russell Birdwell, had warned years earlier, when considering Goddard for Gone with the Wind: "I have never known a woman, intent on a career dependent upon her popularity with the masses, to hold and live such an insane and absurd attitude towards the press and her fellow man as does Paulette Goddard."
- Paulette would've been too old looking to be Scarlett. I thought her screen test was rather bland although I agree she was the second best but only because her performance seems the most like Leigh's.
I wonder what Maureen O'Hara or Ava Gardner would've been like although neither arrived in Hollywood until a few years later.
- Ava Gardner would have been magnificent. A GENUINE Southerner.
- R96 Scarlett was Vivien Leigh. Period. This role was meant for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't believe that Goddard was one of the best actresses out there, however she was certainly not bad either and omg ,she led such a life! She was so ambitious and strong. She made her fortune!
”You live in the present and you eliminate things that don’t matter. You don’t carry the burden of the past. I’m not impressed by the past very much. The past bores me, to tell you the truth; it really bores me. I don’t remember many movies and certainly not my own.” ~ Paulette Goddard
- Garbo should have been Belle Watling, then we would have that THAT FACE in glorious color. They could have renamed the film "A Swede in Atlanta".
- Yes, Vivien Leigh IS Scarlett and Paulette's own career was so unremarkable most of the posts on this thread are dedicated to how she wasn't quite as good as another actress who played a part that she didn't get.
- With hubby Charlie Chaplin
- [quote]... Goddard's close friendship with actress Evelyn Keyes (who, ironically, had played Scarlett O'Hara's sister Suellen in Gone with the Wind) gave gossip-mongers something to talk about, especially when Goddard briefly moved into the home Keyes was sharing with then-boyfriend Peter Lawford, prompting rumors of a ménage à trois.
That's not irony, it's coincidence.
- Louise Brooks would probably have been about 32 by the time GWTW came around but I wonder how she would have fared as Scarlett.
- I love the anecdote from Anita Loos's book: AL mentioned to PG that she did not have a good photograph of the star. The next day, Miss Goddard had a portrait of herself sent over to Miss Loos, one painted by Diego Rivera.
She was certainly fascinating-- several genius husbands and lovers. Huxley wrote about her in "After Many A Summer (Dies the Swan)".
- Wow,R104! Even Aldous Huxley? I mean how many writers this woman inspired or seduced by her presence? H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley and of course her last husband Erich Maria Remarque!
Below there is a photo of her with Bob Hope from the movie 'The Ghostbreakers' (1940)
- As it comes to Paulette Goddard and Frida Kahlo, Paulette actually was first the mistress of painter Diego Riviera, the husband of Kahlo. As often happened to Kahlo, she and her husband's mistress, Paulette Goddard, became friends. She painted a still life, 'The Flower Basket', for Goddard in 1941.
- Read about that in the link below.
- She was quite a cunt. She always liked to flash her expensive jewels in people's faces.
This is from "Edith Head's Hollywood":
She (Edith) recalled the days when Paulette Goddard, newly married to Charlie Chaplin, would parade through the sewing room flaunting her newfound riches in front of the seamstresses who worked from early morning till dusk for their $32 a week:
"Paulette often carried cigar boxes filled with jewels, precious jewels that Chaplin had given her. She would open the cigar box, pass it around temptingly for all the seamstresses to see--but no, don't touch, they're not cigars, they're precious gems, jerks. That was her attitude. I think she was actually much better known for her jewels than her acting, at least at Paramount. I designed her wardrobe for "The Cat and the Canary" and "The Ghost Breakers", both with Bob Hope, but I don't remember her clothes at all. I just remember her tormenting my staff with that damn cigar box full of jewels."
- "Louise Brooks would probably have been about 32 by the time GWTW came around but I wonder how she would have fared as Scarlett.'
Probably pretty badly. Louise Brooks was a stunning screen image, but she was not much as as actress. She tended to play roles that weren't far removed from what she was in real life; a frenetic party girl who liked nothing better than to dance, drink and fuck, not necessarily in that order. She hated the process of movie-making and was incredibly irresponsible. Scarlett O'Hara was an higly demanding role and Vivien Leigh worked her ass off during filming. Brooks wouldn't have lasted a day as Scarlett.
Howard Hawks directed Brooks in one of his pictures; he admired her beauty ("God, she was a good-looking girl") but said this of her acting: "you couldn't give her a big part, she wouldn't know what to do with it."
- She was actually a whore, wasn't she?
Goddard accepted lots of expensive gifts from many men and, according to her, never, ever gave any of it back...
Hollywood legend has it that Paulette knew about Cecil B. DeMille's foot fetish. When she went to see him about a role in North West Mounted Police (1940), she simply strutted into his office and put one of her bare feet on his desk. She got the part.
- Well, she was ambitious...
- Paulette Goddard looking sporty, Dorothy Lamour looking exotic, and Veronica Lake looking vampish. (1942 Photo)
- A notorious woman...
- She wanted to have a certain kind of life. You blame her for that?
- Enjoying her luxury
- She gave a very good performance in 'So Proudly We Hail!'
God the slaps Veronica Lave is giving in this film are so entertaining!
- She gave a very good performance in 'So Proudly We Hail!'
God, the slaps Veronica Lake is giving in this film are so entertaining!