Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer for the Film!

Escape from Paradise

The book's sensational reviews!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it.” C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can't put it down! It's a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That's the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei's latest film is The Blue Mansion - Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It's quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

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About John Harding

Films based on books make an average of 53% more at the box office than films with original screenplays.

John Harding has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Singapore, Italy, Jamaica and Belgium. This includes work for the largest OPEC member, Saudi Aramco, a position as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Inland Revenue in Singapore’s civil service, and a Wall Street investment analyst.

John has been a professor at Pratt Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering in New York City, at King Fahd University in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

He has also worked for the United Nations Development Programme as a U.N. Expert in Kingston, Jamaica, and as a consultant to the United Nations Secretariat in New York.

A native-born American, John speaks Italian, French, and Spanish, Jeddah-Street-Boy Arabic and spices his conversation with a wealth of Yiddish expressions—thanks to all his Jewish stepmothers.

John is the co-author of Escape from Paradise, Amazon’s best-selling book for Singapore. For years it was assumed the book had been banned in Singapore. Only recently, did Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) confirmed by email that Escape from Paradise had never been banned.

Escape from Paradise was not banned by Singapore, but by a lawyer, Helen Yeo. Her husband, Yeo Cheow Tong, was formerly a Singapore cabinet minister and, consequently, Helen Yeo had a lot of clout as her husband was a Singapore Cabinet Minister.

The reason for Helen Yeo’s failed attempt to get Escape from Paradise banned was that she was afraid that it might lead to expose a property transaction in which she was involved. Escape from Paradise did nothing to expose her, and mentioned her only in passing. However Helen Yeo did not want to take the risk that someone might connect the dots, which we never bothered to do.

Helen Yeo was formerly the Managing Partner of Rodyk & Davidson, a Singapore law firm. She no longer holds that position. Her husband, Yeo Cheow Tong, is no longer a Singapore Cabinet Minister, nor is he any longer a member of Singapore’s Parliament.

Escape from Paradise is about the daughter of a Singapore family—a family whose founders were referred to as the “Tiger Balm Kings,” as they built a pharmaceutical, banking, and newspaper empire from the well-known ointment called “Tiger Balm.”

C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore wrote of Escape from Paradise, “It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it.”

Escape from Paradise is now being made into a movie, and, of all people, John Harding is doing the screenplay and is listed on IMDb.

Here is how my fantastic stepmother, Isobel Lennart, got her start as a screenwriter. She went on to write a number of films, including Love me or Leave Me & Funny Girl.  (note the then unknown Ava Gardner got her start in this brief film, as well)!

About Isobel Lennart:

Isobel Lennart was born on May 18, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She was a screenwriter, known for Funny Girl (1968), Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956). She was married to John Briard Harding Sr. She was killed in an automobile accent on January 25, 1971 near Hemet, California.

She was nominated for Broadway’s 1964 Tony Award for her book as part of a Best Musical nomination for “Funny Girl.”
Her first job at MGM was as a typist. She was the fastest typist at MGM and received a promotion to become a script clerk whose job was to work on set go guarantee continuity. If an actor was smoking during the first take, the cigarette had to be at the exact same take on the second take, or consumed a bit if the second take was a bit later in time. Next, MGM gave her a chance to write a script which led to a her becoming a contract screenwriter.
In one of her films, Holiday in Mexico, starring Walter Pidgeon, and José Iturbi, Fidel Castro had a minor appearance. It is little known but in 1946 Castro traveled to Hollywood in search of an acting job. He even aspired to be a leading man!
Really? Well IMDb Trivia maintains that Fidel Castro appears in this movie as an extra. They also claim that he appeared  as a pool spectator in Easy To Wed (1946) starring Van Johnson, Lucille Ball and Esther Williams.
Yes, Fidel Castro even has a page on!
So far as we know, Isobel Lennart never met Fidel Castro.