Thursday, July 19, 2012

Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Goddard...A TRUE HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY...

A virtually forgotten piece of Hollywood History
 – in Switzerland – destined to be Lost… Forever!


Ensuring a Cultural Legacy.

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A long list of celebrities, VIP’s, artists, authors, intellectuals and scientists moved to the Alps in the past century to enjoy the majestic landscapes of Switzerland, in a place that would shield them from the rest of the   World’s turmoil.

During WWII many who fled Nazi Germany had no other choice than to seek refuge in this neutral country wedged between Hitler and Mussolini.
Among them, was the World’s most famous anti-war novelist Erich Maria Remarque, who fled his homeland in the early 1930′s to avoid certain persecution by the Nazi regime, who was after him because of “…literary Treason against the German Soldier” after penning his best-selling “All Quiet on the Western Front“.

Remarque found refuge in Porto Ronco on the shores of Lago Maggiore, in Switzerland’s southernmost “Three-Lakes Region” shared with Italy, until his death in 1970. He rests in peace at the Ronco sopra Ascona cemetery, alongside his famous wife Paulette, and mother-in law Alta-Mae Goddard.
English: Ernest Borgnine at the TCM Classic Fi...
“All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)” received the third-ever Academy Award for Best Film, and was re-made into a 1979 made for TV movie starring “The Waltons’” Richard Thomas and the recently deceased Ernest Borgnine who considered “All Quiet…” to be “..the greatest thing that was ever made!” (YouTube).
Film poster for Bobby Deerfield - Copyright 19...
Al Pacino‘s “Bobby Deerfield (Heaven has no Favorites)” is one of 20+ “Remarqueable” feature film productions based on Erich’s catalog of 13 novels, and is only one example of how Remarque’s influence in the American film scene went well beyond his death.
To this day, Remarque’s work is considered an important milepost in German-American Literary and Film History: his 1940′s novel “Spark of Life” is being developed into a feature by John Culton – and a 21st Century version of “All Quiet on the Western Front (2012)” is in pre-production, produced by Leslie Paterson and Ian Stokell, co-produced by Mary Richards (“Alice in Wonderland“) and directed by Mimi Leder (“Pay it Forward“).
Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios recognized the importance of Remarque’s “All Quiet…” and presented the motion picture at the 2012 Hollywood Classic Film Festival, in a digitally remastered version released in Blue-Ray – to celebrate Universal’s 100th Anniversary.

Remarque, considered to be “The First Playboy” and the “Last Romantic” of the 20th Century, had many illustrious lovers – Natasha Paley-Romanov, Marlene Dietrich, Hedy Lamarr, Dorothy Lamour, Greta Garbo – and more – but no woman made him happier than Hollywood Star of the 30′s and 40′s, the unimitable Paulette Goddard – known in film history for acting alongside then-husband Charlie Chaplin’s last silent movie “Modern Times” and his first “talkie” “The Great Dictator“.
Paulette starred alongside Hollywood Legends Henry Fonda, Bob Hope, Fred Astaire (YouTube) James Stewart, John Wayne, ex-husband #2 Burgess Meredith and many others, in a long list of 44 feature films including Hollywood classics like “The Women“, “Pot o’Gold” (YouTube) and “Second Chorus“.
Her best friend, writer Anita Loos, was inspired by Paulette when she wrote Marilyn Monroe’s role of the gold-digging blonde, Loreley Lee, in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes“. Not only was Paulette the original, REAL LIFE “Diamonds are a Girl’s best Friend” Bombshell Girl – but she was also the original “Ghostbuster” along Bob Hope in “The Ghost Breakers (1940)” – a film made famous once again with the 1984 remake versions starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver.
Paulette’s portrayal of a World War II nurse in So Proudly We Hail earned her the Best Supporting Actress nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Paulette was a trendsetter in so many ways, influencing fashion, jewelry design and the fine arts – from the 30′s until today.
She was George Cukor‘s #1 choice to become Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” – only to lose the role to Vivien Leigh, and given a consolation prize instead, being offered a leading role in “Reap the Wild Wind” starring alongside a young John Wayne – in a film where none other than a giant mechanical octopus outdid Paulette’s acting by getting an Oscar for special effects.

The love story of Paulette Goddard and Erich Maria Remarque begins in the early 50′s and has endured until her passing in 1990.
Paulette donated her Estate to New York University / Tisch School of the Arts, which to this day represents the ideals of Remarque and Paulette’s philantropic support benefiting Performing Arts Students. Scholarships in Paulette’s name are made available to NYU’s BFA/BA & MA students and faculty alike.
Professor Marion Nestle is one of a select group of faculty members who have been named “Paulette Goddard Professor”. The endowed professorship is also part of the Goddard Estate’s major bequest.
Notable NYU/Tisch graduates include Academy Award winners Marc Forster, Woody Allen, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Scorsese & Angelina Jolie – Grammy Award winner Stefani Germanotta (aka Lady Gaga), and dozens more. Tisch freshmen have the option to reside at Paulette Goddard Hall and Residential College – a student’s daily reminder of Paulette’s generosity.
Paulette and Erich’s lakeside home, Casa Monte Tabor, was part of the Estate, but a tax dispute with the Canton of Ticino caused the property to be sold at auction in the early 90′s.
The Villa changed hands twice since Remarque, and its current owner has now decided to sell the property. There is exceptionally strong interest in this piece of Real Estate, as it’s one of the very few Villas on the market – set on one of the largest pieces of lakefront land available in the area. There are plans by a developer to demolish the Villa and replace it with two smaller beach homes.
We would like to prevent that from happening, and instead fulfill Paulette’s wish to make her Home available to the Arts.
The “Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Goddard Foundation”, created with support and guidance from Remarque-related entities worldwide, has closely followed the effort to save Remarques’ home from possible destruction.
Paulette Goddard on the Argentinean Magazine c...
A concept proposal (PDF) for an Artist Residence and “Epicenter of Peace” honoring Remarque and Goddard has been elaborated in cooperation with the “Remarque Gesellschaft” and the Remarque Peace Center at the University of Osnabrück.
Saving Casa Monte Tabor, one of a handful of Swiss Hollywood landmarks, means we will forever sear Paulette’s and Remarque’s legacy into Swiss and Hollywood History – which was Paulette’s original intent by donating her beloved home and her $20M fortune to the Arts upon her death in 1990.
The proposal reminds some of a similar Artist Residence concept, the “Villa Aurora” in Los Angeles – the last home of another great German Writer-in-Exile and Remarque friend, Lion Feuchtwanger.
Erich Maria Remarque and Paulette Goddard deserve to be brought back into the spotlight to ensure a new generation 
learns of their past.

To support this key project and other related initiatives to ensure the visibility of our two fascinating 20th Century luminaries, the Foundation is seeking financial and in-kind assistance from interested Entities in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

On behalf of dozens of volunteers, supporters and donors who have already dedicated their time and effort to this cause, I would like to Thank You for your time and attention.
Michael H. Gaedeke-Sartori

Paulette Goddard was one of Maybelline's most popular models in the 1940's and a personal favorite of Maybelline founder Tom Lyle Williams.  She is also the  # 1 all-time most popular post on the Maybelline Blog.  I'm delighted to feature Michael H. Gaedeke-Sartori and the EMRPG Foundation today as my guest Blogger and hope you enjoy this priceless piece of Hollywood history, few people know anything about. 

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