Paul Henreid Beyond Victor Laszlo: A Daughter’s Memoir
“I am not making this documentary because my father, Paul Henreid, was a movie star. I am doing this because he was blacklisted THREE times in THREE countries for THREE different reasons and still became a movie star, respected director and mentor to future Oscar, Emmy and Tony winners. His story reads like a Hollywood script … more romantic and heartbreaking than Jerry Durrance lighting two cigarettes and more dangerous and heroic than Victor Laszlo leading La Marseillaise.” -Monika Henreid
How does a quiet, private man, live in a very public spotlight. Thankfully, a childhood friendship turned into a romance and a marriage that lasted 60 years… in Hollywood. Highly intelligent, his social circle included some of the great writers and thinkers of the time. His personal demons – finding his father’s corpse, living up to his mother’s dissatisfaction and demanding ways and being unjustly blacklisted after the success of NOW VOYAGER and CASABLANCA – followed him from youth to old age.
He survived defying the Nazis and defending the freedom of speech by reinventing his life and career on his own terms with his own talent and determination. We hear first hand from individuals who knew him throughout his life, along with those whose fledgling careers later flourished. We experience the painful tearing apart of his family because of his inability to let go of old world values and accept the choices of those he loved the most in modern terms.
From the Belle Epoch through the end of Empire, surviving a childhood in Vienna during World War I and narrowly escaping the Nazis during World War II, Paul Georg Julius Hernried Ritter von Wasel Waldingau became Paul Henreid; beloved and neglected, free thinking and dictatorial, an intellectual who became depressed and self exiled. His story is one of overcoming extraordinary circumstances. This gentleman, this gentle man of elegance, beauty and grace appreciated all of life’s offerings and fought hard and often to achieve his goals of success. To him, success meant leaving behind a good body of work.
Against all odds, his mission was accomplished. He brought romance, happiness and joy into the lives of his fans along with both an abundance of love and demanding challenges to his friends and family. This is PAUL HENREID BEYOND VICTOR LASZLO.