at 40, cont'd
Boyer is determined
to appear only in films that supply either gayety or vital ideas to
conjure with, and thus take the audience's mind off itself. His
new contracts, concluded when he returned to the film capital last winter,
provide for two pictures with Paramount and a single production at Universal.
All of them are subject to his approval of stories.
|...he has become more exacting in his approval of the stories in which he will appear...|
|"When war broke out, it seemed the thing to do to offer my services."||There
is another reason Charles Boyer is not likely to do a Broadway play for
some time to come. He is too contented to be back in Hollywood, to desert
his pleasant California home for New York.
"I have been very happy in Hollywood," he said, "how happy I never realized until this last year threatened to make my return problematical.
"I was at Nice making a French picture, Le Corsaire, when the situation became really disturbing. A few days before war broke out, production was halted because virtually all of the technical staff had been mobilized.
"I had taken Pat to Figeac to stay with my mother in the house where I was born. Figeac is a small town in the South of France and it was reasonable to suppose that in the event of war it would be far from the scene of hostilities.
"When the picture was stopped, I went back to Figeac and was there when war was declared. If I had been in America when the war broke out, I would not have been called, because the class to which I belong was not mobilized. But since I was home, it seemed that the only thing to do was to report to the authorities and offer my services. I was mustered in as a private, the day of the general mobilization.
Because of illness as a youth, Charles had never had the usual two years compulsory training and therefore it was as a simple private that he was enrolled in the artillery. He was sent to Agen, a larger town in the next province, about sixty-five miles from Figeac. Pat moved over to Agen and lived at a hotel to be near her husband when he was off duty.
Those duties, however, Boyer explained, were pretty prosaic. After the first month of routine training, he was given a clerical job as a telephone operator at a regional military headquarters and his entire three months of service were spent at Agen.
about 115,000 Frenchmen over 40 were demobilized, Boyer among them.
He and Pat immediately left for Lisbon from where they took the
first clipper back to the States.
"I have no
connection whatever with the government now," Boyer declared to
me. "When I was demobilized I was told to go home, just like all
the rest. For several years California has been my home
so naturally I came back here to pick up my career. I do
not think it is likely I will be recalled."
And yet, I thought,
as I watch five hundred women crowd into a broadcast studio that night
to gaze dotingly at their hero and hang on his every word, the idea
is not so ridiculous as that.
|...watching 500 women crowd into a broadcast studio to gaze at their hero...|