Paulette Goddard Movies: 'An Ideal Husband' & 'Paris Model'

by Andre Soares

Paulette Goddard movies: 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Paris Model' on TCM

Paulette Goddard height: Supposedly 5'4″. Paulette Goddard age: Well… Goddard would have turned 108 today. Or 103. Or 102. Or 98. It all depends on the source, though Goddard herself apparently – and not at all surprisingly – preferred the 1915 birth date, which would have made her 98 years old in 2013. Whether a centenarian or a nonagenarian, Paulette Goddard is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day. TCM has already shown several Goddard movies, among them Charles Chaplin's Modern Times and the Luise Rainer star vehicle Dramatic School, and it's currently showing An Ideal Husband.

Made in England for London Films, An Ideal Husband (1947) was quite a prestigious production so as to justify the presence of a top Hollywood star in a British film. No less a figure than London Films founder Alexander Korda directed this movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play about a British politician whose past peccadilloes may come to haunt him – courtesy of a blackmailer. London Films' top screenwriter, Lajos Biró (The Four Feathers, The Thief of Bagdad) penned the adaptation.

In addition to Paulette Goddard, An Ideal Husband features future Elizabeth Taylor husband Michael Wilding, then at the top of his popularity thanks to a series of highly successful pairings with top British star Anna Neagle; Best Actress Academy Award nominee Diana Wynyard (for Cavalcade, 1932-33); veteran supporting player Hugh Williams (David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights); Hollywood veteran C. Aubrey Smith (The Crusades, The Prisoner of Zenda); rising star and future Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Glynis Johns (for The Sundowners, 1960); and stage legend Constance Collier.

Paris Model

Next on TCM is Paris Model (according to the IMDb, a.k.a. Nude at Midnight), a 1953 minor comedy-drama in which Paulette Goddard is one of the several women – Marilyn Maxwell, Barbara Lawrence, and Eva Gabor are the others – whose fates are tied to a dress called “Nude at Midnight.” Alfred E. Green, whose career dated back to the mid-teens and who had directed Bette Davis in several of her Warner Bros. vehicles of the '30s, handled the proceedings.

Unfortunately, by the early '50s Paulette Goddard's career, like that of many of her female contemporaries, was in the doldrums. She would star in only two more movies, Charge of the Lancers and The Stranger Came Home / The Unholy Four, both 1954 releases, before retiring from films. There would be only one big-screen comeback, in Francesco Mesalli's 1964 drama A Time of Indifference / Gli indifferenti.

Paulette Goddard's four husbands

Paulette Goddard carefully handpicked both her husbands and her jewels. The jewels were too many to be listed here. But the husbands were the following: businessman Edgar James (1927-1932), actor-director-producer-etc. Charles Chaplin (1936-1942), two-time Oscar-nominated actor Burgess Meredith (1944-1949), and All Quiet on the Western Front author Erich Maria Remarque (1958-1970, his death).

A very wealthy woman, Paulette Goddard died of heart failure at age 85 (or 80, or 79, etc.) in Ronco, Switzerland, in 1990.

For the record, Burgess Meredith's two Oscar nods, both as Best Supporting Actor, came late in his career: The Day of the Locust (1975) and Rocky (1976).

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