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Thread: Norma Shearer [Actress]

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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Default Norma Shearer [Actress]

    (1902-1983) One of the first Best Actress winners (The Divorcee, 1930) and style icon of the 1930s. Almost forgotten today, she was one of the first actresses to take control of her image and how it was presented to the public. Of course, marrying MGM boss Irving Thalberg helped. Their collaboration established Norma as one of the biggest stars of MGM. Thalberg helped pick her parts; George Hurrell photographed her and Adrian designed her gowns on and offscreen. Fellow stablemate Joan Crawford hated her. "Of COURSE she gets all the good roles, she sleeps with the boss!" Crawford allegedly quipped. She slept with the boss, Joan slept with everybody else!!

    She was known to have the perfect profile and was quite pretty, but was initially rejected by a couple of studios for being cross-eyed, which she corrected by doing eye exercises. She was very ambitious and was a bit of a perfectionist. She was her own worst critic and made sure both the camera and costumes hid her flaws. Two of her best-known films are Marie Antoinette and The Women.



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    Gold Member Jackie M's Avatar
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    I can't believe how simpatico we are Bitter. I absolutly adore Norma. One of my all time favorite movies is The Women. Although I do not think, and this is just my opinion, that she was quite as classically beautiful as some of the others, there is something so attractive about her. Her performances were really wonderful. I believe her marriage to Irving Thalberg was a happy one until he died and they had a child. I think he died pretty young. Do you have the scoop? Are you going to be doing a Myrna Loy profile soon? Or does one exist already in the back pages?

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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie M View Post
    I can't believe how simpatico we are Bitter. I absolutly adore Norma. One of my all time favorite movies is The Women. Although I do not think, and this is just my opinion, that she was quite as classically beautiful as some of the others, there is something so attractive about her. Her performances were really wonderful. I believe her marriage to Irving Thalberg was a happy one until he died and they had a child. I think he died pretty young. Do you have the scoop? Are you going to be doing a Myrna Loy profile soon? Or does one exist already in the back pages?
    I see we share similar tastes in actresses - totally cool.

    I thought Norma was very pretty. She was cross-eyed, but she had that perfect profile a Barrymore would have killed for. But she was not perfect-looking, no, you're right. When she auditioned for Florenz Ziegfeld, he made fun of her cross-eyes and stubby legs and told her she would never make it on stage. But she persevered, thank goodness. I liked The Women, Marie Antoinette and Escape. Not too much of a fan of her early 30s work, but then a lot of those flicks leave me cold; from the late 30s on are the films I love.

    Myrna sounds like a good project too - I always liked her.


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    Silver Member Speranza's Avatar
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    There's something I find particoualrly attractive about Norma, although i can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the nose, i mean it. Such a gorgeous profile! But as soon as I see her in a movie, the magic disappears, it's like she's stucked, she can't move properly, like she were on slow motion.
    I wish I could read a bio on her but there's only one and it's pretty pricey even used on Amazon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speranza View Post
    There's something I find particoualrly attractive about Norma, although i can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the nose, i mean it. Such a gorgeous profile! But as soon as I see her in a movie, the magic disappears, it's like she's stucked, she can't move properly, like she were on slow motion.
    I wish I could read a bio on her but there's only one and it's pretty pricey even used on Amazon
    She started in silent films, where movement had to be exaggerated to compensate for the lack of sound. Unfortunately, I think her mannerisms carried over into the sound era, where less was more. She had perfect Canadian Anglophone diction and speech, which sounded upper-class to American film audiences. I think she improved, but yeah, some of her early performances are rather stiff and stilted. If you look at her final scenes in Marie Antoinette, she's very effective and unmannered.


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    Penske material sprynkles's Avatar
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    Fabulous looking woman. The clothes they had back then were so awesome and made so well. I love that picture of her in that hooded cape. Amazing.

    She is such a useless shit stain on the panties of humanity~Bitter's awesome description of K.K

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprynkles View Post
    Fabulous looking woman. The clothes they had back then were so awesome and made so well. I love that picture of her in that hooded cape. Amazing.
    sprynkles, she wore that cape in Marie Antoinette. She had to run down a flight of stairs in it to meet a Swedish count, played by Tyrone Power. It was awesome.


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    Silver Member landerq's Avatar
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    Thanks for bringing Norma to our attention here. I too always found her quite appealing and her profile was just gorgeous. Before The Women, I like that she specialized in playing fairly independent woman for that era, but when Thalberg died and she got older and acting style changed, the roles dried up, unfortunately. And yes, her clothes and the way she wore them were to die for.

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    Still can't believe she turned down Mrs. Miniver and Now, Voyager. She would have been perfect for those parts.


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    Bump.
    Here is a rather on-point observation of Norma screen style: Bright Lights Film Journal :: Norma Shearer: The Primrose Path to MGM Stock


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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    i was just reading up on her husband Irving Thalberg, what i would give to go back in time and be in hollywood during that era

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    Hi
    Norma Shearer i don't know her and i don't like her

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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    It was Norma Shearer day on Turner Classic Movie channel. I see right now that Romeo and Juliet is on. I don't know if this one is considered a good classic, (I mean, they weren't 16 years old), but it has my favorites, Norma, Leslie Howard, Basil Rathbone, John Barrymore. Anyway, Marie Antoinette is coming up and you know I'm going to watch it till I fall asleep - which I hope is in 30 minutes. I love that movie way too much. Tyrone Power should have been arrested for the illegal use of youthful beauty.

    Sorry I missed Larry. He was a fun one.
    Last edited by Chalet; August 13th, 2010 at 12:38 AM.

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    Someone needs to do a thread on Tyrone Power.


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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    ^ omg tyrone power = sex

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