8 thoughts on “WCW: Norma Shearer

  1. I vaguely remember watching Romeo and Juliet during my first wave of Leslie Howard love. But even though it’s not period, Norma Shearer is FABULOUS in The Women, no matter how problematic the ending. I really need to see The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

  2. Gotta go with Marie Antoinette. Love Adrian’s costumes. Also Barretts of Wimpole Street.
    Favourite ‘modern’ is The Women.
    I remember reading a bio about Ms Shearer and how she was, as Melanie mentioned, fierce as an actress, and was able to have a successful career as an actress and how as Irving Thalberg’s widow she was deferred to – at times – by the controlling L. B. Mayer.

  3. Oh, I how I love Norma! She’s too often dismissed as owing her careen solely to being married to Irving Thalberg, but she was such a fighter. After being turned away by both the great Ziegfeld (for being too dumpy) and by D.W. Griffith ( for having eyes too small and too blue), she ignored them, worked on her craft, and plowed on. She learned to control her lazy eye, learned her angles, studied how to make her short legs appear longer – she worked her ass off. What a lady!

  4. The Romeo and Juliet is wonderful. The two leads are far too old for the parts, but the camera is kind to them, and as mature exponents of their art, they deliver Shakespeare’s lines with so much power. It’s also a very full text, including Juliet’s speech expressing her horror of having to lie in the vault (when she’s drugged to appear dead) with the body of Tybalt. Shearer’s delivery sent shivers down my spine. The ‘comic’ business between the nurse and her servant is also included.

    I think I discovered this film as a result of you good people doing a post on Basil Rathbone. He’s Tybalt, and his magnificent fencing skills are used to the full.

  5. It’s often said that by the time an actress gets old enough to fully understand Juliet, she’s too old to play her. Shearer had a real knack for Looking Noble.

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