miscast rather than cast, so far as I was concerned. I knew
that if I continued in this way I would be hurt in Paris. My reputation
there would be tarnished by the poor one I was building up here. I
asked for my release and got it and I flew away.
WHEN I returned to Paris I did, however, take up the study
of English seriously. I did more plays. I made, soon, the film
version of 'Thunder in the East.' Then Fox Films cabled for
me to come back to Hollywood and make 'Caravan.' I can explain
my return only by admitting that my previous failure rankled. It was
an unhappy and unlaid ghost and it haunted me. I returned and
made 'Caravan,' which was ridiculous for me. I am not
the type to wear black curls and play mad music in the moonlight.
I felt a fool. And I was unhappy. Again I asked
for my release and got it.
"That would have been the end of Hollywood for me
and of me for Hollywood if I had not chanced, before I left, to meet
Walter Wanger. And that meeting is why I am here on the screen today.
For it was Wanger who induced me to make 'Private Worlds,' which I
shall always consider my first real motion picture. The others
were all steps, or rather missteps, very faulty, very fumbling. They
were errors of judgment on my part as well as on the parts of others."
Boyer home in Hollywood boasts a
playroom, and this impressive bar.
the first time, after my meeting with Wanger, I was happy again in
my work. I had met a man who understood me, who knew what I should
do and could do. I would not leave him now for double what any other
producer could or would offer me.
"And I met Pat. Love at first sight happened
I caught a glimpse of her face and all my theories and prejudices
were blown away, as so many dried leaves left over from a long-ago
"That love at first sight should happen to me,"
Charles Boyer said with a self-mocking smile, "was Life's most
delicious revenge on a self-opinionated fool. How often I had mocked
and been amused at the idea! I had said that it was a charming fancy
for poets and adolescents and for the emotionally unstable. I had
never taken the professed 'grand passions' of my fans seriously because
I had not believed that the sight of a face, the sound of a voice
could awake the profound emotion of love. I was wrong. I learned,
in the tick of a clock, how wrong.
"For I saw Pat. And, instantaneously, I knew that
I was in love. Not the shadow of a doubt passed over that sure knowledge.
This was love. And I was a lover. . . .
"I had accepted an invitation to dine at the home
of Robert Kain. It was a casual invitation, casually accepted. I did
not know who the other guests were to be. Even if I had known it would
have made no difference to me. For I had never seen Pat on the screen
and she had never seen me -- not even our shadows had crossed before
that night. I had not dressed and I arrived rather late. The small
group of guests were gathered in the living room finishing their cocktails
when I arrived. I stood on the threshold of my Fate and didn't know
"When I entered the room, I saw her. We were two
strangers meeting. But with one glance we were strangers no longer.
Within two weeks we were engaged, within three months we were married!"