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Is it too soon to rag on cross eyed hag Norma Shearer again?

My god, no actress ever got further with less. But you have to hand it to the Widow Thalberg - she played her cards right, luring that innocent schmo between her flabby thighs and [italic]not letting go.[/italic]

Then he died.

What do YOU think was the secret of her success?

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by Anonymousreply 582November 29, 2021 3:23 AM

Anal creampies.

by Anonymousreply 1November 9, 2021 9:17 PM

Being Jewish

by Anonymousreply 2November 9, 2021 9:49 PM

Yoo hoo, Norma

I'm over here, dear!

That wonky eye just has a mind of its own doesn't it, darling.

by Anonymousreply 3November 9, 2021 10:27 PM

[quote]Is it too soon to rag on cross eyed hag Norma Shearer again?

Too soon?

If you're worried all those horny sailors she serviced are going to be offended...

they've been dead almost as along as she has

by Anonymousreply 4November 9, 2021 10:42 PM

She angered me quite, quite deeply when I was a little gayling poring over old Hollywood books in the library.

I’d ooh and ahh over Garbo, Dietrich and Lamarr… then I’d get to a picture of Norma and think, “What the hell is THAT??”

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by Anonymousreply 5November 9, 2021 10:42 PM


by Anonymousreply 6November 9, 2021 10:48 PM

You can't imagine how hard the blocking was on "The Women"

With that eye of hers, I could never tell if Norma was saying her lines to Roz Russell's tits or to my ass

(But apparently all those studio executives she fucked, somehow found her charming...)

by Anonymousreply 7November 9, 2021 10:48 PM

[quote]R6 Who?


by Anonymousreply 8November 9, 2021 10:54 PM

Buzz off, OP.

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by Anonymousreply 9November 9, 2021 10:57 PM

You can't force audiences to love actors and watch their movies, even Irving Thalberg couldn't accomplish that, and audiences loved Norma Shearer. She was immensely popular from her ingenue days in the last silent pictures to the end of the 1930s, when she voluntarily retired rather than age into matrons and grandmothers. And 10 years at the top is a long time for any Hollywood actress.

Not every actress could be as beautiful as Greta Garbo or even Joan Crawford and the female audience appreciated seeing a woman like Norma, with less than stellar looks, succeed and win over Clark Gable or Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power or whoever. Her acting may have been somewhat affected and seem dated now, but it was a style that was actually admired far more than a more realistic approach in a decade when millions wanted to escape the sad realism of the depression and the horrors of the oncoming world war.

Can you tell? I'm a big fan.

by Anonymousreply 10November 9, 2021 11:00 PM

Reviewing Shearer's work, Mick LaSalle called her "the exemplar of sophisticated 1930s womanhood ... exploring love and sex with an honesty that would be considered frank by modern standards". He described her as a feminist pioneer, "the first American film actress to make it chic and acceptable to be single and not a virgin on screen".

by Anonymousreply 11November 9, 2021 11:03 PM

Blah blah blah.

by Anonymousreply 12November 9, 2021 11:07 PM

I read that Mrs. Patrick Campbell (the real one) said to Norma, upon meeting her, "What pretty little eyes!"

by Anonymousreply 13November 9, 2021 11:08 PM

Norma couldn’t identify her to the MGM police, later.

by Anonymousreply 14November 9, 2021 11:09 PM

I am too r10.

by Anonymousreply 15November 9, 2021 11:09 PM

[quote]R10 You can't force audiences to love actors and watch their movies…

You can put your cleaned up wife or sidepiece in expensive, well constructed, gorgeously photographed, commercial vehicles that can survive a competent, if bland-ish, star, though.

[quote]Audiences loved Norma Shearer…She was immensely popular from her ingenue days in the last silent pictures to the end of the 1930s

Yeah, well, when she was put in more ordinary stuff after Thalberg died, her audience deserted her. So what does that say?

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by Anonymousreply 16November 9, 2021 11:21 PM

Not to hijack the thread away from Norma but I've never understood why Joan Crawford considered herself in such fierce competition with Norma at MGM and yet never seemed to see Jean Harlow as a threat. I can't recall any interview with Crawford in which she discussed Harlow yet she seemed obsessed by Norma.

by Anonymousreply 17November 9, 2021 11:23 PM

Crawford did see Harlow as a threat. She told one female pal she couldn’t be friends with both Harlow and herself, and she only did some film (I think it was “Dancing Lady”) because the producer talked of giving it to Harlow.

by Anonymousreply 18November 9, 2021 11:29 PM

At the height of her fame was Jean Harlow a bigger star than Crawford or Shearer?

by Anonymousreply 19November 9, 2021 11:31 PM

She has such pretty little eyes — And they're so close together!

by Anonymousreply 20November 9, 2021 11:34 PM

[quote]Reviewing Shearer's work, Mick LaSalle called her "the exemplar of sophisticated 1930s womanhood ... exploring love and sex with an honesty that would be considered frank by modern standards".

I think that was just before Mick said, "Now lick my other ball, Norma."

by Anonymousreply 21November 9, 2021 11:35 PM

Yes, R19, but she died very young, so her promise was never fulfilled. But, she never played a middle aged Juliet or did STRAIGHT JACKET.

by Anonymousreply 22November 9, 2021 11:36 PM

Harlow was an existential threat to both Shearer and Crawford. I don't think Harlow would ever have been labeled box office poison.

by Anonymousreply 23November 9, 2021 11:39 PM

[quote] no actress ever got further with less

You rang?

by Anonymousreply 24November 9, 2021 11:40 PM

You rang again?

by Anonymousreply 25November 9, 2021 11:41 PM

Regarding Norma Sheerer and Irving Thalberg, Joan Crawford said:

She (Norma) doesn’t love him. She gave herself to him, like a nun gives herself to Christ, to fill her inner needs.

by Anonymousreply 26November 9, 2021 11:41 PM

No we did not, fat ass HD @r25.

by Anonymousreply 27November 9, 2021 11:42 PM

R27, I'm a fat ass and 1000x more untalented than Shearer, duhhhh

by Anonymousreply 28November 9, 2021 11:43 PM

Her best performance was as Marie Antoinette and even if she was lacking in talent in other films she was quite charming. But her acting style was better suited to the stage.

by Anonymousreply 29November 10, 2021 12:21 AM


Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 30November 10, 2021 12:44 AM

Norma discovered Janet Leigh. So without her, we wouldn't have Jamie Lee Curtis.

by Anonymousreply 31November 10, 2021 12:45 AM

[quote]Her best performance was as Marie Antoinette

Her best performance was in the back alley next to Chasen's

by Anonymousreply 32November 10, 2021 12:53 AM

R17, Crawford began her career at MGM as Shearer's stand-in. This fact left a nasty taste in Lucille is mouth.

by Anonymousreply 33November 10, 2021 1:06 AM

[quote]This fact left a nasty taste in Lucille is mouth.

Something Norma was all too familiar with.

by Anonymousreply 34November 10, 2021 1:11 AM

[quote]R31 Norma discovered Janet Leigh. So without her, we wouldn't have [bold]Jamie Lee Curtis[/bold]

Well, I guess Norma did her bit for trans visibility in the arts, anyway.

by Anonymousreply 35November 10, 2021 4:52 AM

[quote]R23 Harlow was an existential threat to both Shearer and Crawford. I don't think Harlow would ever have been labeled box office poison.

Harlow wasn’t really like Crawford or Shearer, but in a pinch she was closer as a type to Crawford.

I mean, you could see either of them having sex on a bear skin rug, but not Norma. She was a lady - the type that douched with antifreeze.

by Anonymousreply 36November 10, 2021 5:02 AM
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by Anonymousreply 37November 10, 2021 5:02 AM

Never realized how much Harlow looked like Gwyneth Paltrow until that scene at r37.

by Anonymousreply 38November 10, 2021 5:13 AM

R36, Norma Shearer was not quite a lady in her pre-Code films. She was frequently cast as a sexually liberated woman. Only after the Hays Code hammer came down that MGM groomed her for grande lady roles.

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by Anonymousreply 39November 10, 2021 5:15 AM

Bad girl

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by Anonymousreply 40November 10, 2021 5:17 AM

There was a former child actress who passed away not long ago. Sorry, I don't recall her name but she worked at MGM. Anyway, in her biography she told of sitting outside Louis Mayer's office when suddenly Norma Shearer opened the door and yelled "Don't tell me! I fucked every one of you bastards on the way up!"

by Anonymousreply 41November 10, 2021 5:22 AM

R41, Cora Sue Collins, who is still alive at 94.

by Anonymousreply 42November 10, 2021 5:46 AM

[quote]R41 suddenly Norma Shearer opened the door and yelled "Don't tell me! I fucked every one of you bastards on the way up!"

But why did they want to?

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by Anonymousreply 43November 10, 2021 6:41 AM

Though she wasn't a Garbo or Crawford, Norma photographed very nicely and had a pre-code brand as a liberated, sophisticated modern woman who audiences genuinely enjoyed. Irving wasn't a bad looking guy at all, and Nora didn't have to spend too many years wondering when it would end.

Shearer was retired for forty years and until losing her marbles at the end, she seemed to enjoy her life (if not her children).

by Anonymousreply 44November 10, 2021 7:04 AM

[italic]”She was rejected by most for her dumpy figure, sturdy legs, and blunt hands. The incorrect alignment of her eyes that made her look cross eyed earned her the ridicule of many.”[/italic]

I grudgingly must admit she was a brave woman.

I mean, jeez.

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by Anonymousreply 45November 10, 2021 7:19 AM

I love her!

by Anonymousreply 46November 10, 2021 7:36 AM

She had more meat going in and out of her on a daily basis than a chain of Piggy Wiggly grocery stores.

Honestly, the bitch owes her career to having a trick pelvis and a jaw with no hinge.

by Anonymousreply 47November 10, 2021 7:45 AM

I love Norma. I think she was a very talented actress and had great screen presence. It’s a shame that “The Women” is her best known film, since it doesn’t show Norma at her best and she’s overshadowed by the other actresses. My favourite Shearer films are “Private Lives” and “Smilin Through” in which she was matched so well with Robert Montgomery and Fredric March.

by Anonymousreply 48November 10, 2021 7:52 AM

Oh! I just noticed the Bway revival of THE WOMEN is on YouTube!

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by Anonymousreply 49November 10, 2021 8:42 AM

As Miss Crawford would always say, Norma got her career the old fashioned way -- on her back. Then she kept it by marrying the head of the studio. What a hussy.

by Anonymousreply 50November 10, 2021 11:29 AM

I never understood her appeal either. Although I think looks-wise, she had the kind of chubby cheeked, big-jawed, slightly fuller-figured look that was in during the silent era (before Dietrich, Crawford, etc.) so maybe that helped her fuck her way to the top.

by Anonymousreply 51November 10, 2021 1:22 PM

Shearer is the reason Marion Davies (and her palatial dressing room) left MGM for Warner Bros. Her sugar daddy wanted her in the same Great Lady roles Shearer’s sugar daddy saw HER in, and I think it all came to a head over “The Barretts of Wimpole Street”.

Surely that’s the greatest stir that dusty old property ever caused.

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by Anonymousreply 52November 10, 2021 2:38 PM

Caption: [italic] “At first I thought this was a shot of the Garden of Allah Hotel. The architectural styles are very similar. But this is in fact Marion Davies’ bungalow/dressing room at MGM. It was literally an entire house which got moved to Warner Bros after Hearst and Mayer had a fight, then later moved again to Beverly Hills.”

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by Anonymousreply 53November 10, 2021 2:45 PM

^^ PS: it had 11 rooms!

by Anonymousreply 54November 10, 2021 2:47 PM

[quote]”When the frustrated star complained to Irving Thalberg that he was handing his wife all the good roles at the mammoth studio, Joan was plunked into the “B” western Montana Moon (1930) for her pains.”

Out of the frying pan - -

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by Anonymousreply 55November 10, 2021 4:09 PM

Still turning away, decades and decades later.

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by Anonymousreply 56November 10, 2021 4:12 PM

The article at r55 proves my point upthread. All this talk about Joan competing for Norma's roles when wouldn't she naturally have competed with Jean Harlow at MGM? Did Joan really expect to star as Elizabeth Barrett Browning? Juliet? Marie Antoinette? The leads in Private Lives, Strange Interlude, Smilin' Through, Idiot's Delight??? But I'd could easily see her craving Harlow's roles in Dinner at 8, Red Dust, Suzy, Libeled Lady, China Seas, Hold Your Man, Reckless, etc. etc.

But there's never a word about any rivalry (or friendship for that matter) between Crawford and Harlow.

by Anonymousreply 57November 10, 2021 8:48 PM

She served Pancakes Barbara at dinner, the tramp.

by Anonymousreply 58November 10, 2021 9:52 PM

It was never too soon. Max Factor did what he could... so did Hurrell. It wasn't enough. She wasn't hideous but it was hard to hide those eyes.

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by Anonymousreply 59November 10, 2021 10:00 PM

The secret of her success? Drive and persistence and ego. Her co-star Robert Morley said "How did YOU get to be a movie star?" and she said "Because I wanted to!" She played down her flaws (thick figure, a "cast" in one eye) and played up her assets (her patrician profile) and made herself into a star. It didn't hurt that she was married to the head of production at MGM studios, the "boy wonder" Irving Thalberg. She got him through drive and persistence, too. She was always available to him; whenever he needed a date, she was there. Finally, he married her. Gavin Lambert said "she kept trying out for the role until she got it." They made a big show of being lovey-dovey but their relationship was more of a working arrangement than a love story. After he died she went on with her life but could never let go of being Mrs. Irving Thalberg, the Queen of the MGM lot. She died in the Motion Picture home (she was not there due to lack of money; she just needed to be in a care facility), blind, her mind gone. When she had male visitors she'd ask them "Are you Irving? Were we married?" In her mind, she was still back in those days when she had, in her words, "the very most of life."

by Anonymousreply 60November 10, 2021 10:07 PM

All true r60. So very, very true.

Plus, that second vagina I had didn't hurt either!

by Anonymousreply 61November 10, 2021 10:13 PM

I'm curious: people like Brigitte Bardot and Ryan Gosling have wonkier eyes than Norma, so why does she get more shit than they do for that?

by Anonymousreply 62November 10, 2021 10:16 PM

Norma was horrified when she was given a private screening, as a major shareholder of MGM stock, not to mention one of their former greatest (if forgotten stars), of THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. As she never did musicals, she's only briefly seen reacting to Clark Gable's singing and dancing shenanigans in IDIOT'S DELIGHT, but, apparently, she felt she looked silly out of context and was not happy.

However, seeing Norma in that little clip in TE and watching her for the first time in THE WOMEN happened around the same time for me when I was around 22 in the early 70s. I thought....where has she been all my childhood? Why were her movies never on TV? I felt like she was like no other Golden Age Hollywood actress I'd ever seen. So I can totally understand why 30s audiences were so entranced with her.

by Anonymousreply 63November 10, 2021 11:04 PM

Hitchcock described her as the perfect screen actress and spent years trying to line up a project they could do together, even years after she retired.

by Anonymousreply 64November 11, 2021 12:36 AM

[quote]Hitchcock described her as the perfect screen actress and spent years trying to line up a project they could do together, even years after she retired.

A little secret repeated by Norma to every sailor who came ashore for leave...

and to large groups of sailors during fleet week gangbangs

by Anonymousreply 65November 11, 2021 12:47 AM

She was the Queen of MGM...

And sometimes when she looked at me, with that beautiful wonky pointed directly at her own nose,

I imagined she was trying her damndest to look kindly at me...

by Anonymousreply 66November 11, 2021 12:52 AM

Kristen Bell has always reminded me of Norma Shearer.

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by Anonymousreply 67November 11, 2021 12:55 AM

[quote]Kristen Bell has always reminded me of Norma Shearer.


Maybe if she'll try douching with a just little vinegar and water...

by Anonymousreply 68November 11, 2021 1:01 AM

Hey bitches, we've all moved on to the Natalie and Lana Wood thread now!

Come join us.

by Anonymousreply 69November 11, 2021 1:21 AM

I for one love Norma. She had it.

by Anonymousreply 70November 11, 2021 1:57 AM

Norma Shearer was my grandmother's favorite actress. Next was Joan Crawford, then Jeanette MacDonald.

by Anonymousreply 71November 11, 2021 3:27 AM

They called me the new Shearer when I first got ta Hollywood. Nevuh understood why.

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by Anonymousreply 72November 11, 2021 3:45 AM

[quote]R60 She died in the Motion Picture home, blind, her mind gone. When she had male visitors she'd ask them "Are you Irving? Were we married?"

The orderlies would say “Yes!”, fuck her up the ass, then steal her purse.

by Anonymousreply 73November 11, 2021 3:48 AM

She was excellent in the pre-Code films and ideally cast in The Women.

by Anonymousreply 74November 11, 2021 3:49 AM

This Norma bitch retired in like 1940. Are some of you old Queens dead and posting from beyond the grave?

by Anonymousreply 75November 11, 2021 4:47 AM

Her sister was named Athole!

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by Anonymousreply 76November 11, 2021 4:48 AM

She hated her particular part in The Women and hated doing it, although, like everyone else, she adored working with Cukor.

At any rate, she realized that without her "mentor" Thalberg, she was now consigned to do mothers and matrons, so she simply retired with a boytoy, Thalberg's MGM riches, and happily lived the life of a Hollywood Icon. Not even working with Hitchcock could lure her back.

Good for her.

by Anonymousreply 77November 11, 2021 5:41 AM

R11, R74: I've always preferred, Pre-Code, Norma Shearer films to her work after, The code.

by Anonymousreply 78November 11, 2021 6:44 AM


That's why Stephen Haines couldn't keep this Adonis figure of his.

by Anonymousreply 79November 11, 2021 7:14 AM

R75 When one adores le cinema, the stars are forever.

by Anonymousreply 80November 11, 2021 12:56 PM

I like her, it took me a long time to appreciate her, but seeing her in those sexy sophisticate pre code roles won me over. She had screen presence. And her dated acting style also intrigues me as a viewer as it's a combination of great lady of the theater and silent star. It's not her fault her acting style is dated as she was performing for the audience of her time. Some styles become ageless, other become dated. And a performer doesn't have insight into the future. So best to enjoy her acting and performing for what it is.

by Anonymousreply 81November 11, 2021 1:02 PM

She have been a bit cross-eyed, but she had the best profile in Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 82November 11, 2021 1:08 PM

I really don’t find her acting style dated, although it depends on the role. It seems a lot of people compare 30s acting to current acting, as if it’s the good standard. They are both stylistic choices and neither one is ~realism~ (as if that’s the gold standard either). We’re just too close to the modern style to see them both in perspective.

Norma was right that she looked ridiculous in That’s Entertainment (though I j’adore the film). When I started watching her movies, I realised she was completely different to the impression I’d got from that tiny clip.

by Anonymousreply 83November 11, 2021 1:41 PM

Seems like most everyone thinks Norma's performance in THE WOMEN was a blot on the film, but for me she's very much the anchor that holds it all together (sorry for the mixed metaphor!). The sincerity of her scenes with Virginia (Little Mary) Weidler are a poignant balance to the hilarious bitchiness everywhere else and she gives us someone to root for through the very preposterous ending.

And the big confrontational dressing room scene with Crawford still crackles with tension as we watch the power struggle go back and forth. I can't imagine another actress who could have bettered her in that role. Cukor's brilliance as a director is nowhere more evident than in this key scene. Shame that he wasn't at least nominated for an Oscar for this film.

by Anonymousreply 84November 11, 2021 2:41 PM

Surprisingly, with the exception of a few wildly over the top moments (Oh, STEPHen!") she actually gives a relatively modern performance in THE WOMEN. And who could have ever said "I've had two years to grow my claws, mother,... JUNGLE RED!" better than Norma?

by Anonymousreply 85November 11, 2021 2:47 PM

r82 Eat dirt and die, trash!

by Anonymousreply 86November 11, 2021 3:09 PM

Sorry, Jack, at r86, I meant female profile. Now please return to your grave.

by Anonymousreply 87November 11, 2021 4:45 PM

Has anyone seen her 1932 Strange Interlude? I've never seen it on tv, even when I had TCM, but it seems like it would be a very weird play to translate into a film.

by Anonymousreply 88November 11, 2021 4:47 PM

Who else fucked Irving Thalberg along with Dame Norma? Was he faithful to her?

by Anonymousreply 89November 11, 2021 6:18 PM

R89, can't remember if I read it in Wisecracker (the great biography of Billy Haines) but apparently Irv was fascinated by homosexuals, and always wanted to hear from him about the ins and outs of gaiety. Not saying he was gay, or bi, but he was intrigued by Billy's wild stories and wasn't at all horrified or put off.

by Anonymousreply 90November 11, 2021 6:38 PM

Was her nickname while coming up in the business really Stump Cunt (due to stumpy legs and figure, etc.?)

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by Anonymousreply 91November 11, 2021 6:42 PM

I believe Alfred Hitchcock was fascinated by homosexuality, too, r90. I wonder if he had any close gay friends.

by Anonymousreply 92November 11, 2021 6:44 PM

So extravagant!

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by Anonymousreply 93November 11, 2021 7:14 PM

Norma didn't possess an astonishing beauty, but at her peak she wasn't considered ugly. Bette Davis had more problems with her appearance than Norma.

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by Anonymousreply 94November 11, 2021 7:21 PM

Barbara Stanwyck was no conventional beauty neither.

by Anonymousreply 95November 11, 2021 7:27 PM

Wrong! Norma was considered a great beauty. She had a flawless “Patrician” profile, great hair, beautiful creamy white complexion.

She fixed the cast in her eye, you only mention it because it was pointed out in her biography. Nobody would notice otherwise. For that matter, the eyes were a very rare pale Scottish blue, the likes Hollywood had yet to see.

She also had a beautiful voice, one of few actors who could go from silent to talkies.

Janet Leigh said all this…

She was on Anne Frank’s wall, for crying out loud.

Not just some nobody. Definitely Queen of the studio.

by Anonymousreply 96November 11, 2021 7:33 PM

At Irving Thalberg’s funeral, the happiest people were Louis B. Mayer and Joan Crawford.

Joan wanted the plum role in the movie, “Idiot’s Delight.” Mayer gave the role to Norma Shearer; she inherited (from Irving) significant stock ownership in MGM. Thus, Norma still had power. Joan grumbled that Norma really rode through the studio on Irving’s balls.

by Anonymousreply 97November 11, 2021 7:51 PM

"I think she's a knockout and what's with you guys and your obsession with wonky eyes?"

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by Anonymousreply 98November 11, 2021 9:00 PM

Norma was a great inspiration to me.

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by Anonymousreply 99November 11, 2021 9:05 PM

[quote] At any rate, she realized that without her "mentor" Thalberg, she was now consigned to do mothers and matrons, so she simply retired with a boytoy, Thalberg's MGM riches, and happily lived the life of a Hollywood Icon.

She didn't "happily live the life of a Hollywood Icon." She never got over not being being married to the boy wonder producer Irving Thalberg , she never got over not being Queen of the MGM Lot. Oh, I'm sure she had some good times with her boytoy second husband, but he was a poor substitute for the glory of being Mrs. Irving Thalberg. Aging distressed her; she became more and more reclusive. She had no interest in her children at all. She was so concerned about still being thought of as a star that she threatened to sue the producer's of the film "That's Entertainment!" because it featured her in a reaction shot. She thought being shown in mere reaction shot reduced her to the status of a "bit player." She was not a happy woman. It was a long, slow fade out.

The actress Virginia Bruce was in the Motion Picture home with her. She said this of Norma Shearer:

"The biggest of them all, and here she is blind and dying, after all that, all that fame and riches and now this. Maybe I haven't had it so tough."

by Anonymousreply 100November 11, 2021 9:26 PM

Being a huge star as well as the widow Thalberg and a major stockholder at MGM, I wonder why Norma didn't negotiate a contract with Mayer where for a non-astronomical salary Norma couldn't have re-upped her contract and done one prestige film a year? Basically that was all she acted in anyway. She had her looks and talent and clout. If she had wanted to continue on as a current movie star I imagine she could have.

With her decreasing box office appeal I think what Norma saw was her audience evaporating, which must have been terrifying. Norma had turned down Mayer's offer of the lead in "Mrs. Miniver" and instead chose to do a remake of the gloppy and tired "Her Cardboard Lover" which flopped badly. On top of everything else her taste in projects that would be successful had fled. Maybe she got out at just the right time after all?

by Anonymousreply 101November 11, 2021 9:44 PM

[quote]she threatened to sue the producer's of the film "That's Entertainment!"

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 102November 11, 2021 9:53 PM

[quote]'ve always preferred, Pre-Code, Norma Shearer films to her work after, The code.

And by "Pre-Code" you mean her pornos, right?

by Anonymousreply 103November 11, 2021 10:16 PM

George Cukor said that Norma was a very determined actress...

At one point, he thought Norma was trying to take a dump on the set...

but she was actually just struggling to turn that crossed eye away from her nose

and point it toward the camera

by Anonymousreply 104November 11, 2021 10:20 PM

I wonder if there were major differences between Joan and Norma’s MGM dressing rooms. And salaries.

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by Anonymousreply 105November 11, 2021 10:48 PM
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by Anonymousreply 106November 11, 2021 11:45 PM

Judging by the 1940s hairstyling and fuck me pumps, I suspect that's Miss Crawford in her Warner Bros. dressing room, not at MGM.

by Anonymousreply 107November 11, 2021 11:49 PM

Who can really know what Norma was thinking in the early 1940s as she contemplated her future, but I believe she felt she'd done everything she'd ever hoped to accomplish onscreen and was just tired of all the manufactured glamour, the early morning hair and makeup calls, the constant costume fittings, the competition for decent roles and took a tip from Garbo, who had also had enough and up and left in 1941. Even her famed costume designer Adrian retired from MGM in the same year.....he knew it was all over.

Plus, there were new leading ladies, much younger ones - Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, on the lot, demanding...and receiving...lots of attention. The signs were all there. I imagine Norma just thought, "eh, why do I need all this any more?"

by Anonymousreply 108November 12, 2021 12:02 AM

Yeah, and she met a cute Ski instructor boytoy too. Who needs MGM when you can have young dick!

by Anonymousreply 109November 12, 2021 12:36 AM

Jean Harlow’s dressing room:

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by Anonymousreply 110November 12, 2021 12:43 AM

The Widow Thalberg with mobster cock George Raft and a dreadfully unflattering coat.

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by Anonymousreply 111November 12, 2021 12:51 AM

[quote] I imagine Norma just thought, "eh, why do I need all this any more?"

Actually, it was devastating to her that her star waned after Thalberg died. He was the force behind her super stardom and when he died it all started to go wrong. She hung on for a while, getting roles in two prominent movies ("Mare Antoinette" and "The Women") but the death of Thalberg was the beginning of the end. If he had lived she would have continued to get good roles and her career would have continued indefinitely. After her acting career was over, there wasn't much left. She married her ski instructor; they went dancing, they went skiing, they went to Hollywood parties and basically lived the life of rich wastrels. Being a star meant everything to her. When she lost that it was all downhill from there.

by Anonymousreply 112November 12, 2021 1:09 AM

Was Norma Shearer a bad mother?

by Anonymousreply 113November 12, 2021 1:30 AM

NM the coat. WTF is on her head?

by Anonymousreply 114November 12, 2021 1:31 AM

She wasn't Joan-level brutal, r113, but she seemed to be a very distant mother.

by Anonymousreply 115November 12, 2021 1:45 AM

[quote]R96 You only mention her crossed eyes because it was pointed out in her biography. Nobody would notice otherwise.

You know, you’re absolutely right.

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by Anonymousreply 116November 12, 2021 1:46 AM

Everyone here is only anti-Norma because Joan is a DL patron saint.

by Anonymousreply 117November 12, 2021 2:05 AM

[quote] Was Norma Shearer a bad mother?

Bit exactly "bad." But she had little to do with her children. They didn't interest her at all. She didn't have that much to so with them. She had children because she knew that would be part of being Mrs. Irving Thalberg. He wanted them, so she had them. The actress Eleanor Boardman said:

"I was at a party where Norma appeared in a pink lace dress holding two bouquets of roses to hide her stomach. She never wanted to have children. She hated being pregnant!"

by Anonymousreply 118November 12, 2021 2:37 AM

[quote]And by "Pre-Code" you mean her pornos, right?

No--we mean the ones she made before Hammurabi.

Bitch was OLD.

by Anonymousreply 119November 12, 2021 2:39 AM

I just think a lot of actresses from that era weren't interested in being mothers, unless it was good for publicity.

by Anonymousreply 120November 12, 2021 2:57 AM

[quote]R77: She hated her particular part in The Women and hated doing it, although, like everyone else, she adored working with Cukor.

Not everyone, R77.

by Anonymousreply 121November 12, 2021 3:02 AM

I'll do the biopic but it will have to be done with a Ouija board.

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by Anonymousreply 122November 12, 2021 3:09 AM

Thalberg knew the roles that fit her style and personality. Once he was gone, there was no one to exercise that kind of care.

It's difficult to talk about a 30s acting styles---there were people who came over from silents and often were a big exaggerated, people from the stage who who often seemed well, stage-y and often a bit mannered, and people like Spencer Tracy or Pat O'Brien who were quite natural and unaffected. There also was the issue of getting used to sound and microphones which were new to the silent stars and stage people. By the time, things settled into something that was less stilted than the stage or silents, but not quite natural, you had the beginning of "The Method" with people like John Garfield. MGM had some contract players like Tracy who were rather natural in their style, but it was easily the studio that presented the stiffest entertainment--they really wrecked the Marx Brothers and wouldn't have known what to do with Mae West.

Shearer is is meant to be the proper lady in "The Women", so she is a bit stiffer than the other characters, some of whom are meant to be comic relief, but she's also clearly not as natural as Paulette Goddard who had little stage or silent er baggage..

by Anonymousreply 123November 12, 2021 3:09 AM

Her father told her to head East for the New York stage but she misunderstood.

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by Anonymousreply 124November 12, 2021 3:12 AM

That fur coat would make anybody's stumpy legs look like Betty Grable's.

by Anonymousreply 125November 12, 2021 3:42 AM

Just google her Hurrell portraits. The camera doesn’t lie. She is beauty and glamour of the first magnitude. Stars now wish they could compare.

They can’t. She is immortal.

by Anonymousreply 126November 12, 2021 4:00 AM

She had to work at achieving allure, but she did it.

by Anonymousreply 127November 12, 2021 4:05 AM

[quote] I just think a lot of actresses from that era weren't interested in being mothers, unless it was good for publicity.

Of course Joan Crawford adopted children and got years of prime publicity out of being a mother to not one, not two, not three but FOUR poor little unfortunates. Shirley MacLaine did photos spreads of her and her mini-me daughter Sachi that emphasized what a fun, attentive mother she was. Actually, she spent all her time making movies and having affairs. She shipped little Sachi off to Japan to live with her pervy father, ostensibly to prevent her from being kidnapped by the mob (don't ask).

by Anonymousreply 128November 12, 2021 4:19 AM

The Saucy MacLaines...

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by Anonymousreply 129November 12, 2021 4:22 AM

Katharine Hepburn was the smart one. She knew she'd never make a good mother.

by Anonymousreply 130November 12, 2021 4:22 AM

She would have been wotten, r130.

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by Anonymousreply 131November 12, 2021 4:25 AM

Joan's a fine one to talk! She handled more weenies than Oscar Meyer!

by Anonymousreply 132November 12, 2021 5:39 AM

[quote]R126 Just google her Hurrell portraits. The camera doesn’t lie.

Except its retouched output does.

This is a Hurrell portrait:

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by Anonymousreply 133November 12, 2021 5:51 AM

It's funny because a year later Joan realized she too was washed up at MGM, so she bought off her contract and was signed to Warner Bros. where she extended her prime A-List career for almost another decade by successfully reinventing her screen persona.

Norma didn't need the money, but if she wanted to stay a big time movie star she at least should have tried!

by Anonymousreply 134November 12, 2021 6:29 AM

[quote]R134 Norma didn't need the money, but if she wanted to stay a big time movie star she at least should have tried!

Her best cock sucking years were behind her, alas. Hollywood execs always want fresh meat, not some matronly, cross eyed mom they’ve already fucked.

by Anonymousreply 135November 12, 2021 6:40 AM

[quote]I'm curious: people like Brigitte Bardot and Ryan Gosling have wonkier eyes than Norma, so why does she get more shit than they do for that?

I think it's wrong. Shockingly wrong!

by Anonymousreply 136November 12, 2021 7:05 AM

Christopher Isherwood was friends with Norma’s son Irving Junior. He once showed Isherwood his childhood home and a huge dollhouse that was his sister’s. Isherwood thought it was big enough to fuck in.

by Anonymousreply 137November 12, 2021 11:13 AM

[quote]Joan's a fine one to talk!

Joan genuinely like sex and men, but she fucked strategically in the early days.

Norma also fucked studio heads, but she also fucked everybody else. Her pussy was an LA tourist attraction. It was listed as one the 5 must things to see and do in the city with the LA Chamber of Commerce

by Anonymousreply 138November 12, 2021 11:30 AM

Joan also licked a lot of puss in her day. Did Norma do that? Did Joan want to fuck Norma, was declined, and that is what started her catty feud? I read that Joan wanted to bed Marilyn Monroe, and she didn't so Joan turned all bitchy towards her.

by Anonymousreply 139November 12, 2021 3:21 PM

Garbo and Crawford were both maniac muff divers. I wonder why they never hooked up.

by Anonymousreply 140November 12, 2021 7:07 PM

Joan on Garbo...

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by Anonymousreply 141November 12, 2021 7:35 PM

Norma was NOT a beauty. She was the OG basic bitch.

by Anonymousreply 142November 12, 2021 7:47 PM

She was divine.

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by Anonymousreply 143November 12, 2021 7:57 PM

Meryl and Glenn aren't beauties either, r142. You don't have to be a beauty if you have a *look*. They have a *look*. You, r142, don't have a *look*...

by Anonymousreply 144November 12, 2021 8:02 PM

Norma had the one thing that beauty, and acting talent can't give you. The camera loved her, and she oozed charisma.

by Anonymousreply 145November 12, 2021 8:05 PM

While not exactly a fan, I can never understand what people find so unattractive about her. Apart from that hairdo. Then again, I’ve always thought Garbo was plain and dull onscreen.

by Anonymousreply 146November 12, 2021 8:05 PM

While Norma Shearer was ruling the roost as Queen of MGM, across town, Kay Francis was holding court as Queen of the Warner Bros lot. Miss Francis was no great beauty, but they dressed her up like a glamour goddess and people bought that illusion.

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by Anonymousreply 147November 12, 2021 8:09 PM

I love Kay Francis, I liked when she was paired with famed lesbian Lilyan Tashman.

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by Anonymousreply 148November 12, 2021 8:14 PM

You mean wavishing Kay Fwancis, r147.

by Anonymousreply 149November 12, 2021 8:15 PM

According to Joan, the first person to call her and express sympathy after the passing of Alfred Steele, was Norma. Here they are together in the 1950's.

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by Anonymousreply 150November 12, 2021 8:26 PM

[quote]R144 Meryl and Glenn aren't beauties either.

But they can ACT.

And Meryl Streep is indeed beautiful. Glenn isn’t, but Meryl was.

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by Anonymousreply 151November 12, 2021 8:27 PM

[quote]R150 According to Joan, the first person to call her and express sympathy after the passing of Alfred Steele was Norma.

“.According to Joan” tells you all you need to know.

by Anonymousreply 152November 12, 2021 8:29 PM

Meryl's an off-beat beauty, r151.

by Anonymousreply 153November 12, 2021 8:43 PM

[quote] Garbo and Crawford were both maniac muff divers. I wonder why they never hooked up.

Actually, there's little evidence that suggests Garbo was a "maniac" anything, much less a "muff diver." She was not a sexual person at all, despite being a screen goddess. Of course all her life both men and women lusted after her but she seemed not to care. The art curator Sam Green became a friend of hers; one day they were on a walk and stopped to look inside a sex shop. Garbo was amused by it but seemed detached from it. She said 'Ah, the sex thing...I'm glad that part of my life is over."

As for Joan Crawford, well, she was one of those uber-sluts. Bette Davis said she'd affairs but was in Crawford's league. She hadn't had as many affairs as Crawford "but outside of a cathouse who has?" As for her being a lesbian...I guess she did do some of that. In "Hollywood Babylon II" there are lesbian nudie photos that are supposedly of Crawford and another woman. And in "Mommie Dearest" Christiana said a drunken Joan once invited a woman who worked for her to "sleep" with her in her room (the woman declined). And there that ridiculous tale of Joan Crawford getting her pussy eaten by Marilyn Monroe, Monroe was supposedly such a good cunt eater that Joan screamed in ecstasy. Joan wanted more but for Marilyn it was a one night stand and that was it, and Joan hated her ever after. I don't believe THAT one for a minute. But I think that if Joan did any lesbian sex she just dabbled in it. She was really, really into cock.

by Anonymousreply 154November 12, 2021 9:34 PM

Thanks for bringing up Kay Francis r147. Like Shearer, she was also the epitome of what( at least, female) audiences wanted to see in the 1930s and they shared much the same appeal. And they're both actresses whose style and looks fell out of fashion by the 40s and whose popularity seems somewhat unfathomable today.

by Anonymousreply 155November 13, 2021 12:31 AM

[quote]And they're both actresses whose style and looks fell out of fashion by the 40s and whose popularity seems somewhat unfathomable today.

Oh, we've got dames today whose popularity people will question 80 years from now, r155.

by Anonymousreply 156November 13, 2021 12:57 AM

r156, there'll be VERY few dames whose popularity won't be questioned 40 years from now. Some, 20 years.

by Anonymousreply 157November 13, 2021 1:50 AM

[quote] Harlow wasn’t really like Crawford or Shearer, but in a pinch she was closer as a type to Crawford.

Unlike Shearer or Crawford, Harlow was beloved by all who knew her. She really was a nice person, a total professional. The only two people who seemed to dislike her were Joan Crawford, who was jealous of her, and Wallace Beery, who was a nasty SOB. If Harlow had lived she would have been perfect as Crystal in "The Women", much better than Crawford was.

by Anonymousreply 158November 13, 2021 1:57 AM

It does seem like everyone in Hollywood adored Jean Harlow.

She appears to have been a genuinely nice person who stumbled into movies. She didn’t have the years of bitterness sunk into her psyche, like those other two women did. Crawford and Shearer came from poverty and had to claw their way into stardom at any cost.

Harlow was probably quite a bit more normal and sane than the other two cutthroat dynamos.

by Anonymousreply 159November 13, 2021 2:03 AM
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by Anonymousreply 160November 13, 2021 2:05 AM

You can buy a nude Norma Shearer yoga mat ? ?

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by Anonymousreply 161November 13, 2021 2:07 AM

Jean Harlow was like Marilyn Monroe and very few other talents. She embodied sex but as a natural-appearing phenomenon, fulfilling specific fantasies of young womanhood of her time, but not being confined by them, accepting but fighting them both. Marilyn lived longer and was more abused, although Harlow contended with plenty. They both attracted smart, older men and were attracted by them. Sometimes it was the line readings that were off or idiosyncratic that astounded the viewer the most. And of course the image of the blonde - the dumb and not-so-dumb man magnet - that they both used to turn the tables on men, at least in their movies.

Shearer? God, no. Crawford? She did what she could in a wild, desperate way, but lacked the candor and vulnerability. Garbo was an exotic and strange in her allurements. Kay Francis was not in the same league, appealing as she was. Maybe Clara Bow at her best came close, but her material never really matched the kind of maturity that some of Harlow's and Monroe's vehicles managed. Harlow was unique, and often imitated. Even the persona of Monroe owed a lot to Harlow.

by Anonymousreply 162November 13, 2021 2:18 AM

Harlow didn't have it so easy, r159.

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by Anonymousreply 163November 13, 2021 2:20 AM

Other than being blonde sex symbols, I don't really see any similarities in Monroe and Harlow.

There was a sort of metallic toughness to Harlow that Monroe never had. Kind of a coarseness even with that milk white skin. Was Marilyn ever coarse (well, maybe singing Happy Birthday).

And Monroe had a childlike vulnerability that I've never seen in any of Harlow's performances. Certainly not in Dinner at 8, one of Harlow's finest performances.

by Anonymousreply 164November 13, 2021 2:35 AM

Harlow was different because she was somewhat middle-class and just fell into the movie business, though her mother was star-struck. There wasn't the desperation that the others all had. She dealt with a lot of tragedy, but could handle it a bit better because of her upbringing.

by Anonymousreply 165November 13, 2021 3:19 AM

[quote] Other than being blonde sex symbols, I don't really see any similarities in Monroe and Harlow.

They really had nothing in common except for two things They both were completely unselfconscious about being nude. And they both had Daddy issues. Monroe never knew her father and Harlow was taken away from her father by her possessive mother at an early age. They both seemed to prefer older men, "Daddy" substitutes.

by Anonymousreply 166November 13, 2021 4:09 AM

Harlow cracked wise, Monroe didn't.

by Anonymousreply 167November 13, 2021 4:11 AM

[quote]R162 Kay Francis was not in the same league, appealing as she was.

A really interesting book is Jeanine Basinger’s “ A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960”

She points out that Kay Francis was primarily a fashion figure. Even more than other movie stars, female fans loved to go see what she would be wearing. “Francis never met an outfit that intimidated her,” the author writes.

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by Anonymousreply 168November 13, 2021 5:38 AM

I love Kay Francis. I don’t think there is anything at all dated or unfathomable about her appeal. She’s not the Ritz Brothers.

by Anonymousreply 169November 13, 2021 6:29 AM

A Night at the Opera was the Marx Brothers biggest success and to this day remains their most famous film so there is no way you can say MGM wrecked them. The stateroom scene may be the best thing they ever did. Thalberg was known not to have a sense of humor but he knew what was funny.

by Anonymousreply 170November 13, 2021 6:43 PM

Honestly, I’ve never seen Kay Francis in a movie. I think I recall she was kind of blasé about stardom, tho. And her drinking became an issue.

A fan approached her in public once after she retired and Francis said, “Go away, dear. I don’t need you anymore.”

by Anonymousreply 171November 13, 2021 7:07 PM

Oh my goodness, she was 5’9”? That was very tall for back then. No wonder she could pull of wearing literally anything.

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by Anonymousreply 172November 13, 2021 7:12 PM

[quote]R163 Harlow didn't have it so easy

It’s hard to say which of the 1965 Harlow bio pics is worse. I love Carroll Baker, but her version is just overproduced, plastic garbage…as fake as the synthetic wigs in it.

The Carol Lynley one is at least quicker paced, so it’s mercifully over sooner.

Perhaps this debate deserves its own thread, but I feel it’s up to the group. (And Norma “Squinty” Shearer.)

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by Anonymousreply 173November 13, 2021 7:22 PM

I thought it was Crawford who said it the first time she retired but it could have been both of them.

There should not be a DLer alive who has not seen the cast from heaven in Trouble in Paradise.

by Anonymousreply 174November 13, 2021 8:21 PM

The Ernst Lubitsch.

by Anonymousreply 175November 13, 2021 8:26 PM

[quote]R174 I thought it was Crawford who said it the first time she retired but it could have been both of them.

I don’t think Crawford officially “retired” until the bitter end, when she told her agent to stop sending her scripts. But at that point she was practically dying.

by Anonymousreply 176November 13, 2021 8:53 PM

[quote]I thought it was Crawford who said it the first time she retired but it could have been both of them.

Crawford would 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 have said that to a fan...

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by Anonymousreply 177November 13, 2021 9:13 PM

And Buck never would have said that to a fan, either!

by Anonymousreply 178November 13, 2021 9:32 PM

Jean Harlow deserves a good biopic. Her life was certainly dramatic enough to produce an interesting film; separated from her father at an early age, plagued by a possessive, clinging mother and a sleazy, oily stepfather (she had to financially support both of them), teenage marriage to a young rich boy that didn't last because of her mother's interference. Although not particularly wanting to (it was more at the mother's insistence) she tried out for parts in movies and gets them due to her unique white blonde hair and sex appeal. She became one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Although a terrible actress at first, she soon becomes much better due to the mentorship of one of MGM's top executives, Paul Bern. Because he loves her for her "mind" she marries the much older Bern. They're only married for a short time before he commits suicide; his suicide is a mystery that's debated to this day. Harlow's life with her mother and stepfather is so unbearable that she starts drinking to excess. She finds true love with William Powell (another much older man) but he won't marry her because he doesn't want to be married to a blonde sex goddess again (he'd been married to Carole Lombard and the marriage failed). He also couldn't stand the mother and the stepfather. It hurt her terribly that he wouldn't marry her, but they remained together anyway. He probably would have eventually married her if she had lived; she died at the age of 26, slowly and horribly, from kidney disease. What a life! If somebody could do it right, the life of Jean Harlow could make one hell of a movie.

by Anonymousreply 179November 13, 2021 9:41 PM

R171, silent screen star Norma Talmadge said that to a fan. Please see the link below.

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by Anonymousreply 180November 13, 2021 10:14 PM

^^ thank you!

by Anonymousreply 181November 13, 2021 10:26 PM

One of Harlow’s best performances, funny and sexy, is in Red Dust. Harlow and Gable are a wet dream together.

by Anonymousreply 182November 13, 2021 10:47 PM

She's pretty terrific as well in Dinner at Eight which just came out on bluray. One of my favorite movies.

by Anonymousreply 183November 13, 2021 11:00 PM

I'll take Ava, r182, thank you very much.

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by Anonymousreply 184November 13, 2021 11:21 PM

Ava couldn't act her way out of a paper bag.

by Anonymousreply 185November 13, 2021 11:24 PM

And Jean could?

by Anonymousreply 186November 13, 2021 11:31 PM

Uh yes. You must not have seen many movies with her.

by Anonymousreply 187November 13, 2021 11:34 PM

If you look at pics of her and Kelly Osbourne you’d think they were related.

by Anonymousreply 188November 13, 2021 11:50 PM

She's no Lombard or Jean Arthur...

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by Anonymousreply 189November 13, 2021 11:53 PM

'I want to run barefoot through your hair.'

by Anonymousreply 190November 13, 2021 11:53 PM

It gives one an odd mental image, r190.

by Anonymousreply 191November 13, 2021 11:55 PM

Lee Tracy follows it up with a very funny line.

by Anonymousreply 192November 13, 2021 11:58 PM

Am I suppose to know who this person is?

by Anonymousreply 193November 14, 2021 12:02 AM

No, because she was boring as fuck.

by Anonymousreply 194November 14, 2021 12:04 AM

I adore Jean Harlow in Libeled Lady. One of the most laugh out loud hilarious movies ever.

by Anonymousreply 195November 14, 2021 12:05 AM

Jean was a bona fide Golden Age movie goddess...but she *did* have her limitations.

by Anonymousreply 196November 14, 2021 12:12 AM

Reckless, believe it or not, was inspired by the relationship of Libby Holman and Zach Reynolds. (He was the probably bisexual alcoholic heir to Reynolds Tobacco fortune and died under mysterious circumstances; murder or suicide is still unknown.)

Crawford was originally cast but producer David O. Selznick switched in Harlow at the last minute because she was hotter box office at the moment.

by Anonymousreply 197November 14, 2021 12:20 AM

Kay Francis, as previously mentioned, was Queen of the Warner Bros Lot, but she was saddled with inferior pictures and sued Warner Bros for better parts. That enraged Jack Warner, who gave her parts to Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins and demoted Francis to B-pictures and secondary parts. In 1938, she was labeled box office poison, alongside Mae West, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and Katharine Hepburn, and Warner Bros released her from contract. No other studio would pick her up though, so Kay was forced to work independently before signing a deal with Poverty Row studio, Monogram Pictures.

Norma Shearer didn't endure such humilation. She was smart to quit while she was ahead.

by Anonymousreply 198November 14, 2021 12:20 AM

Kay Francis pings hard to me. She looked really sapphic.

by Anonymousreply 199November 14, 2021 12:30 AM

Sorry, Smith Reynolds, not Zachary. Smith was his middle name and what he went by.

by Anonymousreply 200November 14, 2021 12:33 AM

I'm not a star! I'm a woman and I want to be fucked!

by Anonymousreply 201November 14, 2021 12:33 AM

The memorable line in "Bombshell" goes like this: "Your hair is like a field of silver daisies. I'd like to run barefoot through your hair!"

Another good one is: "I've known you in every ripple of moonlight I've ever seen. In every symphony I've ever heard. In every perfume I've ever smelt."

by Anonymousreply 202November 14, 2021 12:58 AM

Tone was so perfect with his line delivery. Dramatic and sincere enough to make it outrageously funny yet not over the top enough to make it just silly.

by Anonymousreply 203November 14, 2021 1:18 AM

I'm sure the four Jills had some merry escapades!

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by Anonymousreply 204November 14, 2021 1:24 AM

Misses Francis and Tashman

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by Anonymousreply 205November 14, 2021 1:27 AM

Ya know what, r204? Fuck you. “Four Jills in a Jeep” was originally developed for me. As “Four Cocks in a Cunt”.

by Anonymousreply 206November 14, 2021 1:32 AM

Norma Shearer is so boring she can't even sustain an entire thread.

by Anonymousreply 207November 14, 2021 1:40 AM

It was the brevity of her career, r207, and yes, her life beyond MGM was...uneventful.

by Anonymousreply 208November 14, 2021 1:42 AM

200+ replies for someone who's been dead and forgotten for decades isn't insubstantial, r207.

by Anonymousreply 209November 14, 2021 1:47 AM


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by Anonymousreply 210November 14, 2021 1:56 AM

R209 is right. How many entertainers whose last work was released in the 1940s are still being discussed regularly? Even Garbo is only known by a niche nowadays (even if people here like to pretend otherwise).

by Anonymousreply 211November 14, 2021 3:25 AM

Only ancient faggots talk about this no talent dog faced chubbette!

by Anonymousreply 212November 14, 2021 3:29 AM

Crawford did get a chance to play a couple of Shearer type roles. In 1930, when Shearer got pregnant, Crawford was given the lead role in "Paid" which was meant for Shearer. I haven't seen it so I can't comment on the performance.

In 1937 Crawford starred in a remake of Last of Mrs. Cheney, which Shearer did as a pre code early talkie. Hard to compare the two as the 1929 version with Shearer is a very primitive and statically shot early talkie while the 1937 has the MGM gloss and polished assurance of studio filmmaking.

In 1940, Crawford did Susan and God. playing a Long Island society woman who becomes religious and annoys her husband and friends with her new found fervor. Crawford gives her all in this, but it's hard to buy her a born to society type, which Shearer could do well.

by Anonymousreply 213November 14, 2021 1:27 PM

[quote]but she had the best profile in Hollywood.

This is known as "damning with faint praise"

She was a cross-eyed no talent whore...

but she made the neatest stitches in her sewing!

by Anonymousreply 214November 14, 2021 1:38 PM

r204 "Mitzi Mayfair" sounds like a name Patrick Dennis would have used in "Little Me."

by Anonymousreply 215November 14, 2021 5:34 PM

Fun fact: Norma Shearer was my grandmother's favorite actress, and my grandmother was also named Norma!

by Anonymousreply 216November 14, 2021 5:38 PM

You must be confusing her with me, r215!

by Anonymousreply 217November 14, 2021 5:43 PM

Neither are me!

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by Anonymousreply 218November 14, 2021 5:46 PM

I often dined at a very unpretentious Beverly Hills restaurant named Nibbler's in the late 70's. Norma and her husband were frequent diners there and several times we were at adjourning tables.

One evening I overheard them talking about it being their 36th wedding anniversary and told the host that I wanted to pick up their tab.

As they were leaving they stopped at my table to say thank you for the lovely gesture. Norma said it made her anniversary extra special.

In her latter 70's, she looked lovely, without any trace of work having been done, and was very charming. She sounded exactly as she had in films decades earlier.

by Anonymousreply 219November 14, 2021 6:06 PM

It looks unpretentious, r219.

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by Anonymousreply 220November 14, 2021 6:12 PM

(R220) It was, but very nice and cozy inside with exceptional service and good food (and flattering lighting). I think it was torn down sometime in the 80's.

by Anonymousreply 221November 14, 2021 6:17 PM

It was no Perino's, r221.

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by Anonymousreply 222November 14, 2021 6:21 PM

[quote]we were at adjourning tables.


by Anonymousreply 223November 14, 2021 6:21 PM

^ Go away, it was a great story. Stick your "Oh Dear" up your old ass

by Anonymousreply 224November 14, 2021 7:18 PM

Does SCARFACE use the Perino’s set from MOMMIE DEAREST?

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by Anonymousreply 225November 14, 2021 7:43 PM

I'm not sure, but "Mommie Dearest" uses the "Happy Days" kitchen set for the "Secret Storm" scenes. It's very noticeably the same set.

by Anonymousreply 226November 14, 2021 8:05 PM


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by Anonymousreply 227November 14, 2021 8:22 PM

Perino's makes an appearance in Sunset Boulevard - I spotted it the last time I watched. Can anyone cite the scene?

by Anonymousreply 228November 14, 2021 9:40 PM
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by Anonymousreply 229November 14, 2021 9:55 PM

She's very sexy checking out from front to back Ramon Novarro in Lubitsch's silent "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg", really good film--not using Romberg score though. She's also quite good in her pre-code sound films like "The Divorcee". I like her in the "Women", except for the last scene with arms outstretched, calling for her husband. I think Cukor misdirected her in that scene. She's really excellent in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street".

She probably wanted Little Mary in "The Women" to be about as old a child of hers on-screen as she wanted, so she probably hung it up at about the right time; she had plenty of money and could still be the equivalent of Diva Emeritus, and among other perks, have her discovery, the soon-to-be renamed Janet Leigh brought to MGM's very prompt attention.

by Anonymousreply 230November 14, 2021 10:16 PM

She is also exceptionally good as the Countess in MGM's "Escape", which was a very successful film that year.

by Anonymousreply 231November 15, 2021 1:30 AM

I forgot to add that "Escape" was made in 1940, the year after "The Women". In actuality, her only two failures were her final 2 films and her track record, overall, was enviable.

by Anonymousreply 232November 15, 2021 1:31 AM

Norma rejected “Mrs. Miniver” because she didn’t want to play the mother of a teenager.

by Anonymousreply 233November 15, 2021 1:49 AM

She didn't want to play one in real life either, r233.

by Anonymousreply 234November 15, 2021 1:51 AM

R231, If anyone has not seen it, "Escape" is a very suspenseful movie.

by Anonymousreply 235November 15, 2021 1:53 AM

I’m sure the “suspense” is waiting for Norma’s face to move.

by Anonymousreply 236November 15, 2021 1:58 AM

Joan's "Escape"...

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by Anonymousreply 237November 15, 2021 2:00 AM


Nazimova, who played Robert Taylor's mother in "Escape", was Nancy Davis' godmother.

by Anonymousreply 238November 15, 2021 2:00 AM

Miss Garnet's "Escape"...

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by Anonymousreply 239November 15, 2021 2:04 AM

R214 So she fucked every man at MGM. Since when does that make someone a whore? Somebody good at networking but not a whore.

by Anonymousreply 240November 15, 2021 3:06 AM

One of my high school friends and I came up with a movie star menu. She was represented under the alcohol selections as Norma Sherry.

by Anonymousreply 241November 15, 2021 3:11 AM

She looks like the Black Dahlia.

by Anonymousreply 242November 15, 2021 3:11 AM

I detest the name Norma to this day. It sounds like a switchboard operator in a hairnet.

Thank the Goddess they’re all dying out.

by Anonymousreply 243November 15, 2021 3:21 AM

[quote]R242 She looks like the Black Dahlia.

Elizabeth Short was really quite beautiful.

Not everyone takes such a good mugshot pic.

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by Anonymousreply 244November 15, 2021 3:26 AM

Norma Jeane Mortenson was supposedly named after Norma Shearer and Jean Harlow. She eventually was renamed Marilyn Monroe.

by Anonymousreply 245November 15, 2021 3:27 AM

Bellini wrote his opera Norma based on her life.

by Anonymousreply 246November 15, 2021 3:29 AM

"We had faces then!"

by Anonymousreply 247November 15, 2021 3:33 AM

It's a perfectly good name, young man at r243.

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by Anonymousreply 248November 15, 2021 3:37 AM

Well, designer Norma Kamali’s quite flexible at age 75. So that’s something.

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by Anonymousreply 249November 15, 2021 4:10 AM

[quote]"The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg", really good film--not using Romberg score though.

Well, you know, it was a SILENT film.

by Anonymousreply 250November 15, 2021 4:35 AM

Lots of silent films had synchronized scores or even scores that were sent to local theatres for the orchestra/pianist/organist to play

by Anonymousreply 251November 15, 2021 4:44 AM

The Romberg show was still playing in theaters and either didn't want to sell the rights, or there too expensive. The musical score they had on TCM was very good though. Navarro was quite wonderful in the title role, too.

by Anonymousreply 252November 15, 2021 4:59 AM

"they were or might have been" too expensive

by Anonymousreply 253November 15, 2021 5:08 AM

Yes it is a lovely poignant film and Norma plays a wonderful Kathy and this was well before she married Thalberg.

The interesting thing about the remake with Anne Blyth and Edmond Purdon outside the color, cinemascope, and the Romberg score is that we meet the prince's bride to be earlier in the film who proves to be a lovely sympathetic person so that their marriage will be a happy one despite the bittersweet ending. In the silent we never see his bride to be only part of her wedding dress and hand in the finale carriage ride away from the wedding with a bereft Ramon. A much more heartbreaking ambiguous ending.

by Anonymousreply 254November 15, 2021 1:56 PM

Neither film is very much like the stage show apart from the basic conceit of the plot. And that's because there was an earlier hit play on which the operetta was based.

The Lubitsch film of the original play is a delight, the 1950s Purdom version of the operetta is dire. It was supposed to star Mario Lanza but he showed up on set nearly a hundred pounds overweight, so he was immediately replaced by Purdom. Lanza's voice remains on the soundtrack and Purdom lip synched but it was quite a lackluster film anyway.

The operetta was the longest running show on Broadway until Oklahoma! twenty years later.

by Anonymousreply 255November 15, 2021 2:56 PM

Ramon Novarro is fantastic in The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg; he was quite good at light comedy.

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by Anonymousreply 256November 15, 2021 3:01 PM

He was gay you know.

by Anonymousreply 257November 15, 2021 3:05 PM

Oh, we know, r257!

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by Anonymousreply 258November 15, 2021 3:09 PM

Shearer looks a wee bit like Streisand (or vice versa) in the illustration at R5. Interesting. They both got plenty of flack about their looks.

by Anonymousreply 259November 15, 2021 3:12 PM

RE: R228 - Perino's in Sunset Boulevard

Through the window and over the shoppe bottom's shoulders and across the street.

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by Anonymousreply 260November 15, 2021 8:32 PM

R243, Norma Talmadge was a major star in silent movies. One of her husbands was George Jessel.

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by Anonymousreply 261November 15, 2021 8:38 PM

(261) George could provide her with a level of pleasure that few men could!!!

by Anonymousreply 262November 15, 2021 8:39 PM

She was no Connie, r261...

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by Anonymousreply 263November 15, 2021 8:43 PM

Who is Lewis J Selznick? Those Selznicks reproduced like rabbits. And then went into movies.

by Anonymousreply 264November 15, 2021 10:32 PM

Myron and David's father. Read up on it.

by Anonymousreply 265November 15, 2021 11:50 PM

Clearly Lewis couldn't keep it in his pants or keep his sons out of Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 266November 16, 2021 12:00 AM

R265, Lewis Selznick's career advice to his sons was always be broke, it makes you work harder to succeed.

by Anonymousreply 267November 16, 2021 12:20 AM

Myron and David's Hollywood careers were based on revenge for the way their father's career was destroyed.

by Anonymousreply 268November 16, 2021 4:15 AM

One of the Selznick daughters (?) was found dead in her beach home, which was filled knee-high with trash. There was lots of cash stowed around the place, and many sizable uncashed checks. She owned a lot of property.

Fucked up family.

by Anonymousreply 269November 16, 2021 4:50 AM

This might have been her:


Longtime Laguna Beach Resident, Joan Selznick, of the Movie Family, Dies (1989)

Joan Selznick, a member of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated families, died at her Laguna Beach home, a family spokesman said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Orange County coroner’s office said Selznick, 58, was found dead at her residence March 28. A preliminary autopsy report says that she had died of natural causes March 27. The coroner’s office is waiting for toxicological tests to be completed, the spokesman said.

by Anonymousreply 270November 16, 2021 4:58 AM

[post redacted because independent.co.uk thinks that links to their ridiculous rag are a bad thing. Somebody might want to tell them how the internet works. Or not. We don't really care. They do suck though. Our advice is that you should not click on the link and whatever you do, don't read their truly terrible articles.]

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by Anonymousreply 271November 16, 2021 5:02 AM

this was above quote from article. I was pointing out that Joan Selznick’s father Myron was alcoholic, too.

[italic] There was a great agent, Myron Selznick, brother to the great producer David Selznick. And Myron loathed himself. No one knew why. He was handsome, brilliant, funny. But David was creative and all Myron could make was money. He was dead in his forties, looking 20 to 30 years older. He'd been to the best doctors and hospitals. He'd been told it was an illness, not to be ashamed of. But he had clung to the shame, because he hated himself, the world and the public.

by Anonymousreply 272November 16, 2021 5:06 AM

[quote]He was handsome, brilliant, funny.

Handsome? When I think of Myron Selznick, I think of Bill Macy, who played him in "The Scarlett O'Hara War."

by Anonymousreply 273November 16, 2021 5:21 AM

The booze bloated and faded him, but he started out with better raw material than his brother.

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by Anonymousreply 274November 16, 2021 5:28 AM

R269, And there was the daughter of David O. Selznick and Jennifer Jones.

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by Anonymousreply 275November 16, 2021 8:41 AM

How did all this talk of the Selznicks wind up on the thread devoted to Norma Shearer?

by Anonymousreply 276November 16, 2021 4:25 PM

Mira, o Norma!

by Anonymousreply 277November 16, 2021 4:28 PM

Didn’t Jennifer Jones’ daughter choose to jump off that building on Mother’s Day?

Quite the statement. Even Norma’s kids didn’t do THAT.

by Anonymousreply 278November 16, 2021 4:32 PM

You can tell from her eyes the little bitch is planning it even here. You just can’t satisfy some people.

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by Anonymousreply 279November 16, 2021 4:36 PM

[quote]Didn’t Jennifer Jones’ daughter choose to jump off that building on Mother’s Day?

Damn, that's hardcore!

by Anonymousreply 280November 16, 2021 5:51 PM

And Robert Walker killed himself with alcohol. Death seems to have stalked Jennifer.

by Anonymousreply 281November 16, 2021 7:45 PM

R281, Nancy Davis gave car head to Peter Lawford and Robert Walker on a trip from California to Arizona, according to Peter.

by Anonymousreply 282November 16, 2021 9:05 PM

Fun Fact: The Thalberg's house in Santa Monica was the first in California to have central air conditioning, for Irving's poor health.

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by Anonymousreply 283November 16, 2021 9:21 PM

Are the two Thalberg children still with us? Did either make a life of show biz?

by Anonymousreply 284November 16, 2021 10:28 PM

Can they see straight?

by Anonymousreply 285November 16, 2021 10:42 PM

So died in 1987:

Irving Thalberg Jr. was educated at a military school, a public school, and at Le Rosey near Rolle, Switzerland. He began to study philosophy at Stanford University, served in the army, and then returned to Stanford, where he married fellow student Suzanne McCormick in 1956. After teaching at various schools, he and his family moved to Chicago, and in 1965 he joined the philosophy department of the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (UIC). Irving and Suzanne had three daughters, Shoshana, Deborah, and Elana. Suzanne taught philosophy at the University of Chicago. Irving and Suzanne divorced in 1971. During his tenure at UIC, Irving Jr. wrote three books and seventy articles on philosophy. He later married an anthropology instructor named Deborah Pellow. A universally respected scholar, Irving Thalberg Jr. died of cancer on August 21, 1987.

Daughter died in 2006:

Katharine Thalberg was educated at the Westlake School for Girls. She married an Olympic skier named Jack Reddish in 1954, when she was eighteen, and continued her studies at Vassar, Stanford, and UCLA, earning a degree in English literature. Her second marriage was to actor Richard Anderson, with whom she had three daughters, Ashley, Brooke, and Deva. After moving to Aspen, Colorado, she opened the popular Explore Bookstore, and later married businessman Bill Stirling. After years as a pillar of the community and a respected animal-rights activist, Katharine Thalberg died of cancer on January 5, 2006.

by Anonymousreply 286November 16, 2021 10:45 PM

Katherine Thalberg had rather a pretty profile herself.

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by Anonymousreply 287November 16, 2021 10:51 PM

Thanks for the kids' bios, r286 and thank you, r287 for Katherine's lovely photo.

Sounds like both had fairly normal lives out of the spotlight and never embarrassed their parents. Which is saying a lot, all things considered.

by Anonymousreply 288November 16, 2021 10:56 PM

Before Katharine, Anderson was married to Alan Ladd's step-daughter.

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by Anonymousreply 289November 16, 2021 11:01 PM

The daughter’s name was spelled Kath[bold]a[/bold]rine, r287 + r288.

It matters.

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by Anonymousreply 290November 17, 2021 12:32 AM
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by Anonymousreply 291November 17, 2021 12:35 AM

R289, Sue Carol must have starved herself for weeks prior to her daughter's wedding.

She actually has a waist in that group photo and does not resemble her usual overweight self.

BTW, that marriage to Anderson only lasted a year.

by Anonymousreply 292November 17, 2021 12:51 AM

Whatever are you talking about, r292? Mrs. Alan Ladd was a top runway model.

by Anonymousreply 293November 17, 2021 1:01 AM

R293, They would have had to reinforce the runway. Their age difference and her obesity usually made Sue look like Alan's mother.

by Anonymousreply 294November 17, 2021 1:12 AM

R286. I knew Suzanne McCormick when she was an administrator at the Chicago International Film Festival in the 80s. A nasty piece of work who could surely give her ex-mother-in-Law strong competition in cuntiness. A snotty fag hag. Her daughter Deb seemed sweet, but I only met her once—she had aspirations to be an actress, but didn’t seem to me to have the talent.

by Anonymousreply 295November 17, 2021 1:22 AM

Irving Jr. and Katherine turned out reasonably well, considering that their father died when they were both small children and their mother had no interest in them at all. That would have caused some sensitive snowflake celebrity offspring to wallow in drink and drugs.

by Anonymousreply 296November 17, 2021 1:23 AM

From Robert Wagner's autobiography:

“The first movie star I met was Norma Shearer. I was eight years old at the time and going to school with Irving Thalberg Jr. His father, the longtime production chief at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, devoted a large part of his creative life to making Norma a star, and he succeeded splendidly. Unfortunately, Thalberg had died suddenly in 1936, and his wife's career had begun to slowly deflate. Just like kids everywhere else, Hollywood kids had playdates at each other's houses, and one day I went to the Thalberg house in Santa Monica, where Irving Sr. had died eighteen months before. Norma was in bed, where, I was given to understand, she spent quite a bit of time so that on those occasions when she worked or went out in public she would look as rested as possible. She was making Marie Antoinette at the time, and to see her in the flesh was overwhelming. She very kindly autographed a picture for me, which I still have: "To Cadet Wagner, with my very best wishes. Norma Shearer." Years later I would be with her and Martin Arrouge, her second husband, at Sun Valley. No matter who the nominal hostess was, Norma was always the queen, and no matter what time the party was to begin, Norma was always late, because she would sit for hours—hours!—to do her makeup, then make the grand entrance. She was always and forever the star. She had to be that way, really, because she became a star by force of will—hers and Thalberg's. Better-looking on the screen than in life, Norma Shearer was certainly not a beauty on the level of Paulette Goddard, who didn't need makeup, didn't need anything. Paulette could simply toss her hair and walk out the front door, and strong men grew weak in the knees. Norma found the perfect husband in Martin. He was a lovely man, a really fine athlete—Martin was a superb skier—and totally devoted to her. In the circles they moved in, there were always backbiting comments when a woman married a younger man—" the stud ski instructor," that sort of thing. But Martin, who was twelve years younger than Norma and was indeed a ski instructor, never acknowledged any of that and was a thorough gentleman all his life. He had a superficial facial resemblance to Irving Thalberg, but Thalberg had a rheumatic heart and was a thin, nonathletic kind of man—intellectually vital, but physically weak. Martin was just the opposite—strong and virile, with a high energy level. Coming after years of being married to Thalberg and having to worry about his health, Martin must have been a delicious change for Norma.”

by Anonymousreply 297November 17, 2021 1:39 AM

Some many straight men use the term "delcious change".

by Anonymousreply 298November 17, 2021 1:46 AM

Delicious change, means a younger stud who could keep it hard, and cum massive loads to obscure her wonk eye.

by Anonymousreply 299November 17, 2021 2:12 AM

It must have seemed incredibly brazen for Norma to have married a man 12 years her junior and a ski instructor to boot! That just wasn't done, especially back in 1942, though it's interesting to note that it was the same year Norma retired from films and thus, she probably didn't give a fuck.

Well, hopefully, she gave Martin Arrouge a few good fucks.

by Anonymousreply 300November 17, 2021 2:31 AM

Marty Arrouge may have been "strong and virile, with a high energy level" but he was no Irving Thalberg. Despite being married to the hot ski instructor she never let go of being Mrs. Thalberg. She's interred next to him, but her crypt does read "Norma Shearer Arrouge." She had this inscribed on Thalberg's tomb: "My Sweetheart Forever."

by Anonymousreply 301November 17, 2021 3:09 AM

[quote]Didn’t Jennifer Jones’ daughter choose to jump off that building on Mother’s Day? Quite the statement. Even Norma’s kids didn’t do THAT.

Even Nancy Reagan's kids didn't do that!

by Anonymousreply 302November 17, 2021 3:34 AM

[quote]Norma was always late, because she would sit for hours—hours!—to do her makeup, then make the grand entrance. She was always and forever the star. She had to be that way, really, because she became a star by force of will—hers and Thalberg's. Better-looking on the screen than in life, Norma Shearer was certainly not a beauty...

But her patrician profile!

I suppose you had to see her from just the right angle, really.

by Anonymousreply 303November 17, 2021 3:39 AM

Oh c'mon, r303, being named Athole would drive anyone bonkers.

by Anonymousreply 304November 17, 2021 4:12 AM

Norma really seemed to love Irving.

by Anonymousreply 305November 17, 2021 4:48 AM

And if he were a busboy?

by Anonymousreply 306November 17, 2021 5:28 AM

[quote]And if he were a busboy?

Not so much...

by Anonymousreply 307November 17, 2021 5:32 AM

[quote]And if he were a busboy?

But in defense of my dear wonky-eyed friend Norma,

if Irving had been a busboy,

Norma would have gladly fucked him

by Anonymousreply 308November 17, 2021 5:35 AM

The utter godawfulness of her wedding dress is really something.

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by Anonymousreply 309November 17, 2021 5:40 AM

[quote]The utter godawfulness of her wedding dress is really something.

More godawful than her thick peasant piano legs?

by Anonymousreply 310November 17, 2021 5:53 AM

[quote] Norma really seemed to love Irving.

Actually, love wasn't really what drove their relationship. He wanted a wife and she kept trying and trying until he finally married her. He was the prize that made her a superstar and she reveled in it. It was a working arrangement for both of them. They put on a lovey dovey act for the public. But it wasn't a love match.

by Anonymousreply 311November 17, 2021 5:58 AM

I don't see anything wrong with her eyes at all.

by Anonymousreply 312November 17, 2021 6:03 AM

"Well, hopefully, she gave Martin Arrouge a few good fucks."

I don't know, I'm getting a hint of Gay Face with this one...

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by Anonymousreply 313November 17, 2021 6:03 AM

R302, But, Patti Davis underwent a tubal ligation so she would never become pregnant and pass on her mother's genes.

There are no true Reagan grandchildren, since Michael was adopted and Maureen adopted her only child.

Neither Patti nor her atheist brother Ron ever produced a child.

by Anonymousreply 314November 17, 2021 6:29 AM

^ "atheist brother Ron"

Oh the horror

by Anonymousreply 315November 17, 2021 6:40 AM

For R315 . . .

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by Anonymousreply 316November 17, 2021 7:04 AM

It really is a blessing there are no Reagan grandchildren!

by Anonymousreply 317November 17, 2021 7:55 AM

^ Patti and Ron think so

by Anonymousreply 318November 17, 2021 10:55 AM

Norma was a very big star before Thalberg and even won an Oscar before their marriage. What was she going to do marry a Larry Fortensky?

by Anonymousreply 319November 17, 2021 8:49 PM

Sorry, no, r319. She was a star, but not a big one, and she married a number of years before her oscar.

by Anonymousreply 320November 17, 2021 8:57 PM

Well, r319, she sorta did.

by Anonymousreply 321November 17, 2021 9:02 PM

FWIW, Norma Shearer was in the top 10 of the Quigley poll of cinema managers every year from 1931 to 1934.

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by Anonymousreply 322November 17, 2021 9:08 PM

Can we at least agree she was a cross-eyed whore?

by Anonymousreply 323November 17, 2021 9:16 PM

After Irving died, Norma had a fling with Mickey Rooney and a more serious affair with George Raft.

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by Anonymousreply 324November 17, 2021 9:57 PM

Norma and boy toy Mickey.

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by Anonymousreply 325November 17, 2021 10:01 PM

"After Irving died, Norma had a fling with Mickey Rooney "

Wow, ol' Norma liked them young, she's 18 years older then Mickey

"FWIW, Norma Shearer was in the top 10 of the Quigley poll of cinema managers every year from 1931 to 1934. "

She would have had 1930 locked up as well, but she was beat out by Rin Tin Tin

by Anonymousreply 326November 17, 2021 10:13 PM


...and she was beat off Rin Tin Tin

Dirty whore!

by Anonymousreply 327November 17, 2021 10:32 PM

That Top 10 List year to year is fascinating!

by Anonymousreply 328November 17, 2021 10:43 PM

^ It is, I spent a good 10 minutes looking it over. Most interesting

by Anonymousreply 329November 17, 2021 10:56 PM

Norma was a very big star. She wouldn't have had it any other way.

The interplay and sexual tension going on between her and Laughton playing her father in Barretts is wonderful. It's post code intimated but it's very effective. And clearly large audiences responded though they were watching an expensive classy MGM prestige picture about incest.

by Anonymousreply 330November 18, 2021 12:00 AM

What was it like to be there, since you so OBVIOUSLY were, R311?

by Anonymousreply 331November 18, 2021 12:14 AM

I don't know how deep their love was, r331, but the bio I read definitely showed Norma's focus, patience and determination to become Mrs. Thalberg.

by Anonymousreply 332November 18, 2021 12:55 AM

"She was married to the boss and I was just an actress."

by Anonymousreply 333November 18, 2021 1:10 AM

[quote]but the bio I read definitely showed Norma's focus

It must have been a perpetual struggle for her to focus with those eyes.

by Anonymousreply 334November 18, 2021 1:12 AM

Unlike Marion Davies and especially Vera Ralston, Norma Shearer was a popular box office attraction throughout her marriage to Thalberg.

by Anonymousreply 335November 18, 2021 1:54 AM

Maureen Stapleton was fascinated by Vera Ralston's somnambulistic acting. Judy Holliday would call and tell her when one was on the late late show.

by Anonymousreply 336November 18, 2021 1:57 AM

R335, I disagree - Marion Davies and Vera Ralston were also popular box office attractions throughout their marriages to Irving Thalberg.

by Anonymousreply 337November 18, 2021 2:15 AM

Who was Vera Ralston married to and why couldn't he help her career?

by Anonymousreply 338November 18, 2021 2:24 AM

The Lady and the Monster

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by Anonymousreply 339November 18, 2021 2:30 AM

R338, Vera Hruba Ralston was married to Herbert Yates, founder and president of Republic Pictures, which he exploited to make Vera a star. However, Vera lacked the IT factor, and she flopped big time.

by Anonymousreply 340November 18, 2021 4:05 AM

She wasn't much off the blades.

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by Anonymousreply 341November 18, 2021 4:12 AM

Marion Davies was a hugely popular actress throughout her career.

She was also very talented and always fun to watch.

Treat yourself to "Blondie of the Follies" sometime!

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by Anonymousreply 342November 18, 2021 4:25 AM

Marion Davies was a huge star of the late Silents but her career fizzled after a few hits in the early Talkies, partially because of bad material that WR Hearst thought he was tailoring just for her. Her excessive drinking also played havoc with her looks which were sadly diminished long before the decade ended.

But apparently she was loved by her colleagues, I'll give her that.

by Anonymousreply 343November 18, 2021 4:47 AM

Vera Hruba Ralston was never able to learn more than rudimentary basic English and spoke most of her roles phonetically. An unfortunate quality in a supposed Hollywood film star.

by Anonymousreply 344November 18, 2021 4:50 AM

I don’t believe Norma ever fucked that lying whore Rooney. She had access to primo cock, she had no need to trifle with midget assholes.

by Anonymousreply 345November 18, 2021 6:39 AM

I don't think Norma denied the fling with Rooney ever, did she?

Norma also dated Jimmy Stewart for awhile in '39, I think. Stewart always struck me as a total phony (and right-wing bigot). I wonder what kind of romance he had with Norma?

by Anonymousreply 346November 18, 2021 6:44 AM

[quote]Norma also dated Jimmy Stewart for awhile in '39, I think. Stewart always struck me as a total phony (and right-wing bigot). I wonder what kind of romance he had with Norma?

Ultimately, they didn't see eye-to-eye.

by Anonymousreply 347November 18, 2021 6:47 AM

I think she fucked Rooney. He actually was kind of cute when he was young. And he was quite the pussy hound. After Thalberg's death Norma was making up for lost time; Thalberg was an unwell man and probably not very active in the sack. She and Rooney just decided to have some good times together. It makes sense to me.

by Anonymousreply 348November 18, 2021 6:59 AM

R348, Mickey was known to be very well hung. Ava Gardner spoke well of him to the co-writer of her posthumous autobiography.

Jimmy Stewart knocked up Marlene Dietrich in the 1940s, resulting in an abortion.

by Anonymousreply 349November 18, 2021 7:09 AM

Ralston became fluent in English. The problem was that she couldn't shake off that thick Czech accent. Also, Yates too often cast her in damsel in distress roles. If you read about her life, she was no helpless damsel in distress. When cast in a role where she could be lively such as Dakota with John Wayne, or Jublilee Trail, she had some sort of screen presence and life, and could chew the scenery in her way. But audiences never took to her. Her only films that made much of a profit were the two times Yates cast her in John Wayne movies, and even those didn't make as much as usual. Eventually Yates, in his quest to make Ralston a big star, bankrupted Republic. He was devoted to her for years he bought ads in the trade papers with the latest still of Ralston boasting she was the beautiful woman in movies. She looked good from certain angles, but from other angles she looked dowdy. I find her and her story quite interesting. 15 plus years of being promoted as the next great star and queen of a studio that was at its best making no nonsense action-adventure and western pictures. Just bizarre.

by Anonymousreply 350November 18, 2021 12:29 PM

I would have let young Mickey Rooney stick it in me. Normally, Norma I'm not a fan of Norma, but I like how slutty she was. I respect that. For instance Joan liked cock, but she was a lady about it. Norma was just a wanton slag.

by Anonymousreply 351November 18, 2021 12:31 PM

I seriously doubt Joan was a lady about cock. Anita Page spoke about Joan's sexual proclivities though not in a specific way she was too ladylike for that but clearly she found them disconcerting and said her own mother(Anita's) told her to keep her distance from Joan. Especially after making a visit to Joan's bathroom.

by Anonymousreply 352November 18, 2021 1:37 PM

R352, Is that where Joan kept her dildo collection?

by Anonymousreply 353November 18, 2021 1:40 PM

I had the impression it went far beyond dildos. And even the world's most hardened sex workers would have been shaken by Joan's collection of sex toys.

by Anonymousreply 354November 18, 2021 1:54 PM

i can't believe the modestly talented Shearer has sustained such a long thread.

Separately, Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard and John Barrymore are the least convincing teenagers in screen history.

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by Anonymousreply 355November 18, 2021 2:35 PM

She's equally ridiculous as the teenage Marie Antoinette, a film that should have been consigned to a studio fire except for the fantastically divine costumes of Adrian.

by Anonymousreply 356November 18, 2021 2:51 PM

Vera Hruba Ralson was no Belita!

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by Anonymousreply 357November 18, 2021 2:53 PM

I frequently got Norma confused with her sister, who was an "Athole".

by Anonymousreply 358November 18, 2021 2:59 PM

You can make fun of these ice-skating B stars like Vera and Belita but if you look at that list of year by year top Hollywood stars, Miss Sonja Henie was right there in the Top Ten for three years running in the mid-1930s.

by Anonymousreply 359November 18, 2021 3:07 PM

Sonja Henie was the below-zero version of Esther Williams.

by Anonymousreply 360November 18, 2021 3:08 PM

Weren't Miss Sonja Henie and Liberace an item for awhile? Or didn't he at least say something to the effect of she was his ideal woman?

by Anonymousreply 361November 18, 2021 3:10 PM

Sonja Henie was a huge Hollywood star years before anyone heard of Esther Williams and made the Top Ten list more often than Esther eventually did.

I'm not particularly a fan of either lady but those are the facts.

by Anonymousreply 362November 18, 2021 3:19 PM

It's interesting so many people here are slagging on Shearer's acting, as I find it far less egregiously overdone than most from the 1930s. Her acting style reminds me a lot of Laura Linney's, that is, mannered but in a technically strong way, as in, you can see clear beat changes but also are very aware that there are beat changes. It's not offensive but also not 'natural' per se.

by Anonymousreply 363November 18, 2021 4:56 PM

Sonja was a doll.

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by Anonymousreply 364November 18, 2021 5:07 PM

Belita interview...

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by Anonymousreply 365November 18, 2021 5:09 PM

[quote] i can't believe the modestly talented Shearer has sustained such a long thread.

She may have been "modestly talented" but she WAS one of Hollywood's biggest stars in her time. She certainly is worth gossiping about.

by Anonymousreply 366November 18, 2021 5:19 PM

Sex with Irving must have been precarious, given his bad heart.

I would imagine Norma straddling him would be the least dangerous position.

by Anonymousreply 367November 18, 2021 6:42 PM

A 1987 tribute to Irving Thalberg.

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by Anonymousreply 368November 18, 2021 6:48 PM

[quote]I seriously doubt Joan was a lady about cock.

Joan always knew where to find the boys . . . AND the booze!

by Anonymousreply 369November 18, 2021 6:53 PM

Does anyone know where to free stream "MGM - When The Lion Roared?"

by Anonymousreply 370November 18, 2021 6:55 PM

I once read in some film history book that while making A Free Soul Clark Gable was frightened by the sexual intensity of Norma Shearer in the love scenes they played. I guess she wasn't getting much sex from Irving so she put her sex drive into her acting for that part.

by Anonymousreply 371November 18, 2021 8:50 PM

That 1987 tribute to Thalberg at r368 is very sweet and it was nice to see the very attractive Thalberg family (minus Norma - had she already died?) in the audience at the end of the clip.

by Anonymousreply 372November 18, 2021 9:07 PM

I love Romeo and Juliet are they too old yes. But they speak the language beautifully Barrymore is magnificent and the sets and costumes are beyond compare. I can't listen to young people speak Shakespeare because they're so god-awful. It would be like a high school student singing Violetta in La Traviata trying to actually sing every note.

by Anonymousreply 373November 18, 2021 11:18 PM

R372, Norma died in 1983 at the age of 80.

by Anonymousreply 374November 18, 2021 11:39 PM

Someone said upthread that Greer Garson was younger than Norma. That Greer was one of the younger actresses who were pushing Norma out of the way…I think they were both around the same age. Greer gave her birth year as 1908, but in reality she was born in 1904. The studio shaved off a few years. Norma was born in 1902.

by Anonymousreply 375November 19, 2021 12:21 AM

Greer and Norma have have been close in age but they represented two very different generations in Hollywood, much like Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda.

by Anonymousreply 376November 19, 2021 12:32 AM

Norma Shearer started out in silent movies and transitioned into talkies, pre-Code films, and Great Lady roles at MGM. Greer Garson made her film debut in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" in 1939, and immediately went on to Great Lady roles in "Pride and Prejudice," "Mrs. Miniver," "Random Harvest," "Madame Curie," etc. I think the fact that she was a post-Depression era/ Wartime movie star made her seem a generation removed from Shearer.

And poor Joan thought she was to inherit Shearer's Queen of MGM mantle, only to see the title go to Garson.

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by Anonymousreply 377November 19, 2021 1:38 AM

And to add insult to injury R377, MGM was grooming the much younger Lana Turner to take over Joan's roles.

by Anonymousreply 378November 19, 2021 1:40 AM

You mean like Flaemmchen in Grand Hotel, r378?

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by Anonymousreply 379November 19, 2021 1:45 AM

And now, a word from Joan...

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by Anonymousreply 380November 19, 2021 1:59 AM

R376, Natalie and Jane were only a year apart in age.

by Anonymousreply 381November 19, 2021 2:19 AM

Joan mentions Norma @ :50.

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by Anonymousreply 382November 19, 2021 2:29 AM

That poor girl was toast when she told Joan her name, r382.

by Anonymousreply 383November 19, 2021 3:20 AM

r381, that was my point. In spite of being very close in age, Natalie Wood was a product of Golden Age Hollywood and Jane Fonda represented the New Edgy Hollywood . Both very active in the 1960s but by the early 70s the former's career was more or less finished while the later's was HOT. I was comparing them to Norma and Greer.

by Anonymousreply 384November 19, 2021 3:53 AM

And an apt comparison it was, r384.

by Anonymousreply 385November 19, 2021 3:55 AM

It was the convention for Romeo & Juliet to be played by older actors back in the day. No one would have batted an eyelid at Norma and Leslie's ages.

I think it was only with Zeffirelli that R&J began to be cast with age-appropriate actors.

by Anonymousreply 386November 19, 2021 3:59 AM

R386, I can recall there being concern about Queen Elizabeth II attending the London premiere of "Romeo and Juliet" in 1968 because Leonard Whiting bared his ass in one scene.

by Anonymousreply 387November 19, 2021 4:10 AM


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by Anonymousreply 388November 19, 2021 4:21 AM

R384, Natalie may have committed career suicide by choosing to pretty much stay home after her daughters were born and stayed off the screen for almost ten years, with a few exceptions.

Also, Natalie was a very successful child star, Jane was not. When Jane made her film debut in "Tall Story" in 1960, Natalie had already been in films for fourteen years.

by Anonymousreply 389November 19, 2021 4:22 AM

Jane Fonda had real acting chops, Natalie Wood (though I love her) was a Star. Her glamour and charisma was not the fashion in the 1970s.

by Anonymousreply 390November 19, 2021 4:45 AM

Jane could rock a shag. Natalie...couldn't.

by Anonymousreply 391November 19, 2021 4:50 AM

Natalie was always so relatable, you felt as if she was someone you knew.

Fonda was not.

by Anonymousreply 392November 19, 2021 5:04 AM

Natalie had the most beautiful eyes and a weak speaking voice which could be used for good effect.

by Anonymousreply 393November 19, 2021 6:07 AM

Jean Arthur has a very weird yet strangely compelling speaking voice. She sounds like an old lady a bit and wistful when she's in her 30's.

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by Anonymousreply 394November 19, 2021 6:22 AM

Who doesn't love Jean Arthur?

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by Anonymousreply 395November 19, 2021 4:42 PM

Loved Jean with Charles Boyer in HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT…great film for lovers of romantic films.

by Anonymousreply 396November 19, 2021 4:57 PM

For years, Lucy tried to lure Jean Arthur out of retirement, but was unsuccessful.

by Anonymousreply 397November 19, 2021 5:27 PM

Her show had a cute opening...

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by Anonymousreply 398November 19, 2021 5:54 PM

Dears, this thread is about me. Please take your talk about people who were not the Queen of MGM to a "washed up rugburn" thread.

by Anonymousreply 399November 19, 2021 9:24 PM

Someone start a thread about Favorite Screwball Heroines!

My poll would include: Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, Myrna Loy and.....Vivian Vance.

by Anonymousreply 400November 19, 2021 10:29 PM

What was wrong with Norma’s legs, actually? I have only heard about them not being shapely. In what way, exactly.

by Anonymousreply 401November 20, 2021 12:01 AM

They were fine when posed carefully, r401. They just weren't perfect, proportionately.

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by Anonymousreply 402November 20, 2021 12:13 AM

When she first went to Hurrell for sexy shots, because she wanted The Divorcee, Hurrell wanted to show her legs. She told him her legs weren't her best feature. He told her not to worry and he worked his magic.

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by Anonymousreply 403November 20, 2021 12:17 AM

"Darling, the legs aren't so beautiful, I just know what to do with them."

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by Anonymousreply 404November 20, 2021 12:20 AM

"What was wrong with Norma’s legs, actually? "

She had stumpy Nancy Reagan legs

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by Anonymousreply 405November 20, 2021 12:27 AM

^ But, I don't know if Norma had a thing for BBD like Nancy did

by Anonymousreply 406November 20, 2021 12:28 AM

Would Norma have been any good in the Blanche Hudson role in "Baby Jane"?

She might have been just the right type to be terrorized by Bette Davis who by that point had just about had it with the former "Queen of the MGM lot" and her demands!

by Anonymousreply 407November 20, 2021 1:05 AM

Bette and Joan's past history added to the antagonism, r407.

by Anonymousreply 408November 20, 2021 1:31 AM

Norma looking regal in the 1960s.

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by Anonymousreply 409November 20, 2021 1:54 AM

[quote]Norma looking regal in the 1960s.

She finally learned to look to the right in the photos to hide that wonky eye

If she'd learned this in the 1930s, she could've saved the MGM photographers a fortune!

by Anonymousreply 410November 20, 2021 1:59 AM

[quote]"Darling, the legs aren't so beautiful, I just know what to do with them."

She probably didn't want to put them behind her ears like you do, Joan.

by Anonymousreply 411November 20, 2021 2:12 AM

Huh, r411?

by Anonymousreply 412November 20, 2021 2:31 AM

Bette and Norma would have bonded making a movie together talking about what a cunt Joan is. Though I'm sure Bette would have been annoyed by Norma's MGM diva acting technique.

by Anonymousreply 413November 20, 2021 3:10 AM

Norma could have been a great Margo Channing!

by Anonymousreply 414November 20, 2021 6:10 AM

In the film version of Applause had it been made. She was a far bigger star.

by Anonymousreply 415November 20, 2021 2:06 PM

Too soon?

She's been dead about a 100 years...

And I can tell you she wasn't all that fresh before that

by Anonymousreply 416November 20, 2021 3:19 PM

I would *never* appear in something with "Aged" in the title, r414.

by Anonymousreply 417November 20, 2021 6:43 PM

For any DLer who may have slipped through the cracks - "Die Frauen" - required viewing.

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by Anonymousreply 418November 20, 2021 9:21 PM

WW2 Era Footage

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by Anonymousreply 419November 20, 2021 9:27 PM

We Were Dancing

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by Anonymousreply 420November 20, 2021 9:55 PM

Anyone know the best streaming for Norma's Escape?

by Anonymousreply 421November 20, 2021 10:04 PM

R421, you can find that film on ok.ru

by Anonymousreply 422November 21, 2021 1:11 AM

I saw it at the Regency because a friend recommended it to me. I liked it a lot. Conrad Veidt and Nazimova are wonderful, Norma is a shining star in the cinema firmament and Robert Taylor is Robert Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 423November 21, 2021 1:33 AM

Candid footage...

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by Anonymousreply 424November 21, 2021 1:47 AM

Watching those newsreels of Norma at r424 I begin to really understand her mysterious allure to us gays today. In spite of less than perfect looks, she appears absolutely glorious in all of this rough footage without the advantage of controlled studio lighting and perfect camera angles. The very picture of a movie goddess of the 1930s, impeccably groomed from head to toe. And an image unlike anyone we see today.

But who was she? How could she have been at the very top of her profession yet we know so little about her? Why weren't her films on TV when we were growing up? There's so much mystery to unravel here, unlike Crawford, Davis, Stanwyck, even Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 425November 21, 2021 2:26 AM


Dyke, ya know.

by Anonymousreply 426November 21, 2021 2:49 AM

If anyone is interested, the site ok.ru has an archive of almost all of her movies. I have linked it below. Yes it is a Russian site. I have been watching movies on it for years with just an ad-blocker installed, and have yet to have any problems. If you search around they have a ton of classic movies posted. The only issue with some is that they are dubbed in another language, but I can almost always find the original English version.

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by Anonymousreply 427November 21, 2021 2:49 AM

I don’t trust a Russian site…no way.

by Anonymousreply 428November 21, 2021 3:00 AM

R425, Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo were big movie stars in their day, and both retired from films at roughly the same time. But unlike Garbo, Shearer didn't generate the same type of "I vahnt to be alone" aura of mystery. While the public remained fascinated with Garbo's reclusiveness in the ensuing decades, they had largely forgotten Norma, and it is indeed a mystery why some legacies endure, while others are forgotten. For every Gloria Swanson, there is a Pola Negri. We worship at the feet of Judy, but not at Deanna's.

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by Anonymousreply 429November 21, 2021 6:50 AM

If Norma had accepted to star in Sunset Boulevard, she would be much more known nowadays.

by Anonymousreply 430November 21, 2021 7:02 AM

R430, I've never read that she was even considered.

by Anonymousreply 431November 21, 2021 7:14 AM

R431 "They also offered the part of Norma Desmond to Norma Shearer, but she rejected the role due to both her retirement and distaste for the script."

by Anonymousreply 432November 21, 2021 8:35 AM

R432, Source? You could have written that.

by Anonymousreply 433November 21, 2021 9:37 AM

The filmmakers approached Greta Garbo, but she was not interested. Wilder contacted Pola Negri by telephone, but had a difficult time understanding her heavy Polish accent. He then reached out to Clara Bow, the famed IT Girl of the 1920s, but she declined citing that she had no interest in engaging in the film industry again due to how hard it was for her during the transition of sound films and that she'd prefer to remain in seclusion with her husband and sons while leaving her previous life behind her. They also offered the part of Norma Desmond to Norma Shearer, but she rejected the role due to both her retirement and distaste for the script. They were considering Fred MacMurray to play opposite her as Joe. Wilder and Brackett then visited Mary Pickford, but before even discussing the plot with her, Wilder realized she would consider a role involving an affair with a man half her age an insult, so they departed. They had considered pairing Montgomery Clift with her.[11]

by Anonymousreply 434November 21, 2021 2:45 PM

R434, In numerous interviews, Billy Wilder said that he initially approached Mae West to play Norma Desmond, but she felt she was too young to play a silent film star.

by Anonymousreply 435November 21, 2021 4:41 PM

Gloria Swanson was fabulous as Norma Desmond, but Mae West would have brought a whole different level of delusion to the roll, and she wouldn't even have been acting.

by Anonymousreply 436November 21, 2021 5:29 PM

The descriptions of the casting process are copied from Wikipedia. But a serious error has recently crept into the article. It now says that Mae West turned the part down. But Wilder never offered it to her. He had been considering her and spent an afternoon visiting her at her home. He quickly realized she would be all wrong for the film he wanted to make and never even brought the subject up. He did say in an interview years later that it was one of the most fascinating afternoons of his life.

It was Cukor who recommended Swanson to him.

by Anonymousreply 437November 21, 2021 5:31 PM

[quote]In numerous interviews, Billy Wilder said that he initially approached Mae West to play Norma Desmond, but she felt she was too young to play a silent film star.

Also, she wanted to write her own dialogue.

by Anonymousreply 438November 21, 2021 5:39 PM

He never offered the part to her and he said so in interviews.

by Anonymousreply 439November 21, 2021 5:41 PM

[quote]r425 I begin to really understand her mysterious allure to us gays today


by Anonymousreply 440November 21, 2021 6:01 PM

I just watched Wilder on Dick Cavett a few nights ago. The only three he mentioned were West, Negri and Pickford.

by Anonymousreply 441November 21, 2021 6:11 PM

[quote]Mae West would have brought a whole different level of delusion to the roll.

How does delusion taste? Personally, I prefer my rolls with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a slab of butter.

by Anonymousreply 442November 21, 2021 6:48 PM

Another one from our Hollywood menu:

Eleanor Parker House rolls

by Anonymousreply 443November 21, 2021 6:53 PM

Pancakes Barbara Stanwyck

by Anonymousreply 444November 21, 2021 6:59 PM

That's a good one, r44. I think we had Barbara Sandwich.

by Anonymousreply 445November 21, 2021 7:06 PM

^ Meant to sign that...

by Anonymousreply 446November 21, 2021 7:08 PM

Apple Brown Betty Grable

by Anonymousreply 447November 21, 2021 7:25 PM

Fanny Rice

by Anonymousreply 448November 21, 2021 7:29 PM

Buster crab cakes

by Anonymousreply 449November 21, 2021 8:06 PM

[quote]If Norma had accepted to star in Sunset Boulevard, she would be much more known nowadays.

Somehow I think Norma Shearer was substituted for Norma Talmadge, who would have been a far better fit to play Norma Desmond, no? Talk about completely forgotten!

by Anonymousreply 450November 21, 2021 8:08 PM

Steak Diane Baker

by Anonymousreply 451November 21, 2021 8:28 PM

John Wine

by Anonymousreply 452November 21, 2021 8:33 PM

I reckon old Norma would have made a credible Norma Desmond.

She would have been more sympathetic than Gloria who resorted to pantomime and Grand Guignol .

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by Anonymousreply 453November 21, 2021 8:42 PM

None of the actresses mentioned could have come close to the unbridled bravura Gloria Swanson brought to the role. Well. maybe Garbo nif her inhibitions could have been broken down.

by Anonymousreply 454November 21, 2021 8:50 PM

[quote] unbridled bravura Gloria Swanson

She would have resembled a pathetic stick-figure without Billy Wilder's brilliant scripting.

by Anonymousreply 455November 21, 2021 8:52 PM

[quote]In numerous interviews, Billy Wilder said that he initially approached Mae West to play Norma Desmond, but she felt she was too young to play a silent film star.

Way to stick to your guns, girl!

by Anonymousreply 456November 21, 2021 9:03 PM

All the bitchy comments, but little or nothing about her lengthy marriage to Martin Arrouge. They remained married for over 40 years, so one could assume it was not totally empty or unhappy (although he did remarry just two years later). In fact they look quite happy. Anyone know?

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by Anonymousreply 457November 21, 2021 9:07 PM

I liked Norma's aristocratic nose.

I want pictures of Norma's aristocratic nose alongside Bob Taylor's aristocratic nose.

by Anonymousreply 458November 21, 2021 9:11 PM

He was devoted to her, r457. Outside of that, what is there to say about their marriage? It wasn't particularly eventful.

by Anonymousreply 459November 21, 2021 9:15 PM

"Wasn't particularly eventful" is a definite plus in Hollywood marriages.

by Anonymousreply 460November 21, 2021 9:21 PM

"Credible" and "more sympathetic," indeed.

R453, in displaying a fundamental ignorance of what "Sunset Boulevard" was intended to be and is, while proudly misunderstanding its theme AND its careful characterizations, this poster deserves a big, sticky, brown "Oh, dear" for camp-as-black-social-satire illiteracy.

Swanson's performance is the core of Wilder's and Brackett's indictment of the Hollywood studio system still being tinseled and celebrated at the time of the film's release. There's a reason Mayer shouted at Wilder at the theater after its premiere, and reason why Wilder called back, "Fuck you" to Mayer.

Swanson's job in this horror movie (which it was meant to be, with the cut scene of dead Gillis with other corpses in the morgue talking to each other at the very start, to the "monkey" funeral and the wheezing organ and the dead house of relics and the "wax museum" card game - Keaton was himself personally stung by how the scene affected him - and the rest) probably is the best in the history of mainstream American cinema. She was exactly what was scripted and directed for. And there's no MARY appropriate after that statement. And I'm not that crazy about her off the screen.

Brave, deadly as a garrote, informed by personal history, and self-immolating and self-revealing in an almost ghastly way. She loathed Chaplin and did him perfectly in "pantomime." She encouraged scenes from her disaster "Queen Kelly" in the horrid home-movie viewing. She treated Von Stroheim's character like a slave, and he had directed her in that and other movies. She - and De Mille - did the spotlight-at-the-studio scene as an autopsy, and De Mille's voice cracked as he ordered his team to drop the contacts about renting her car.

Go back to our beloved schlock and the simpering patronization of all those "women's movies" and musicals and bios. I enjoy them. But no one but Swanson could have done Norma. The actresses who were considered or claimed to be considered were all-too-much examples of what the film was getting at to play it. Shearer, who took her money and her hot new young husband and ran, avoided their fate by having another life. She would have had no understanding, sympathy or craft to attempt to play something as far from her league as the Yankees have been from Vassar Resolutes of 1932. And she would have known it. And I like Shearer, for all of her three-note range.

By the way, Shearer's marriage to Arrouge was very happy. They were completely devoted to each other, and he gave her a life they both enjoyed. There are plenty of stories from their social set commenting how great and fun they were. Even Robert Wagner devoted time in his autobiography to them.

"Credible." Christ. I'm deleting that word from my vocabulary for such idiocy.

by Anonymousreply 461November 21, 2021 9:26 PM

[quote] There's a reason Mayer shouted at Wilder at the theater after its premiere

Did Mayer employ Wilder briefly in 1938 to 1942?

by Anonymousreply 462November 21, 2021 9:28 PM

Of course, Mayer and Wilder went to a different class of synagogue.

by Anonymousreply 463November 21, 2021 9:30 PM

Norma and Margo ended up in the right hands.

by Anonymousreply 464November 21, 2021 9:37 PM

DataLounge can never get enough of the beautiful and talented Miss Shearer!

by Anonymousreply 465November 21, 2021 9:38 PM

I forgot to add Billie.

by Anonymousreply 466November 21, 2021 9:45 PM

I really enjoy threads like this, where the conversation wanders all over the place, but is still full of insight from knowledgeable people.

I know, MARY!

by Anonymousreply 467November 21, 2021 10:29 PM

Norma’s acting style wouldn’t have fit films in the fifties. She also lacked the earthiness that Bette Davis brought to Margo. Still love her though.

by Anonymousreply 468November 21, 2021 10:52 PM

"Sunset Boulevard" is a condemnation of the fickle nature of fame and aging, especially for women. It could also be a treatise on the cruelty of technology and modernization, as that what puts Norma out to pasture years before age does. Norma has long been a relic at barely fifty, which adds such cruelty to her dilemma. She isn't really even old years after having been shunted aside and all but forgotten.

[quote]She would have been more sympathetic than Gloria who resorted to pantomime and Grand Guignol .

Only in the stupid Broadway musical, or on Carol Burnett's parody versions is this true. Swanson's performance is subtle and acutely observed. Her Norma does go mad, but in degrees before our eyes. She is a very sympathetic character almost throughout, a cunning and worthy adversary to her plight until her obsession with Joe tips her into madness. Norma is actually well-dressed and quite pretty for a woman of fifty, but we never remember her that way, it's odd.

by Anonymousreply 469November 22, 2021 12:01 AM

For a noir, Wilder finds a bit more black humor than other movies in the genre.

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by Anonymousreply 470November 22, 2021 12:10 AM

R461. Beautifully and passionately written! I agree with everything you’ve said.

Is r469 also your comment? It’s another gem.

by Anonymousreply 471November 22, 2021 12:54 AM

I believe in the biography I read of Norma Shearer, her mother may have played a role in her retiring in the early 40s. Not due to direct advise, but her mother beat it into Norma's head that a lady should not be seen in public after the age of 40 as she's no longer youthful.

by Anonymousreply 472November 22, 2021 1:24 AM

The other big female stars like Norma, who retired from films relatively early, Deanna Durbin, Greta Garbo and Alice Faye and Eleanor Powell (though I think the later 2 continued to work in clubs, radio and/or TV), never seemed to regret the decision. I really admire them for acknowledging when they'd had enough and moving on with their lives.

by Anonymousreply 473November 22, 2021 1:34 AM

R461. I like what you say. And you may be commenting on something I said.

[quote] displaying a fundamental ignorance of what "Sunset Boulevard" was intended to be and is

But I would like to suggest that Billy Wilder would have molded the film around the performer. Mae West or Shearer and Monty Clift would have provided a very different power dynamic between the characters.

by Anonymousreply 474November 22, 2021 2:27 AM

Lerner & Loewe and Moss Hart offered Deanna Durbin the lead in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady but she was quite happy in retirement and refused to come back for anyone for any reason. Mary Martin turned it down too. She didn't like the score.

by Anonymousreply 475November 22, 2021 2:36 AM

[quote]Mary Martin turned it down too.

Imagine a dyke playing Eliza!

by Anonymousreply 476November 22, 2021 3:44 AM

[quote]I liked Norma's aristocratic nose.

Norma was quite fond of it too...

That's why she was always staring at it with her wonky eye

by Anonymousreply 477November 22, 2021 3:49 AM

[quote] wonky eye

This moderately-succesful Englishwoman had one as well. But you'd think professional photographers would know how to minimise this condition

That Streep woman used her crooked nose to effect in that 'Sophie' movie; you'd see the right side when she was pretending to be glamorous and the left side when when she was pretending to be demented.

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by Anonymousreply 478November 22, 2021 7:39 AM

Wynyard is wonderful in Rasputin and Cavalcade.

Notice that Norma is wearing contemporary fashions. The finest money can buy in 1950. Her house might be a museum but she does not consider herself a wax figure in it.

by Anonymousreply 479November 22, 2021 11:56 AM

Norma sings and plays the piano (and yes, she did study piano and voice)

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by Anonymousreply 480November 22, 2021 2:16 PM

I understand she could out tap Eleanor Powell as well.

by Anonymousreply 481November 22, 2021 10:08 PM

Norma chats with Conrad...

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by Anonymousreply 482November 22, 2021 11:55 PM

Was it a tradition at these Hollywood premieres that guests would be asked to sign a huge book upon entrance? I've never seen this before the Norma newsreels.

by Anonymousreply 483November 23, 2021 12:22 AM


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by Anonymousreply 484November 23, 2021 12:31 AM

The picture of motherhood...

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by Anonymousreply 485November 23, 2021 12:42 AM

Is that kid Irving Thalberg, Jr.? He grew up to be a philosophy professor.

by Anonymousreply 486November 23, 2021 12:47 AM

Is that Norma's son posing with her in the photo at R485 or a child actor? The kid looks heavily made up; he looks like he's wearing lipstick. And that hair! Those golden curls...looks like a hairdresser spent a lot of them preparing his golden locks for the camera. He looks too pretty to be her actual son, but maybe they made him up to look like an angel to make it seem like Norma gave birth to a child of wondrous beauty.

by Anonymousreply 487November 23, 2021 12:51 AM

Norma’s ambition was right up there with Madonna’s or even Diana Ross’. She should be loved. And unlike them, she at least knew when to shut off the lights and call it a day.

by Anonymousreply 488November 23, 2021 1:12 AM

R487, That is not her son.

by Anonymousreply 489November 23, 2021 1:52 AM

That was just for the premier of Grand Hotel as if they were guests signing into a hotel. I wonder what happened to it. If it was eventually tossed, stolen or somebody bought it at the MGM auction.

by Anonymousreply 490November 23, 2021 1:59 AM

🎶Goodbye Norma Shearer

Though I never knew you at all

You had the grace to hold yourself

While those around you crawled 🎶

by Anonymousreply 491November 23, 2021 3:19 AM

Idiot's Delight

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by Anonymousreply 492November 23, 2021 3:22 AM


That hair-do was outrageous !

Was it important to the plot?

Is it supposed to be Art Deco?

by Anonymousreply 493November 23, 2021 3:25 AM

Here is a blog post about the Grand Hotel Premiere, that mentions the register book.

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by Anonymousreply 494November 23, 2021 3:29 AM

R478, R479 I think of Norma Shearer and Diana Wynyard as being similar.

They accepted similar roles of pure, aristocratic ladies. Diana appeared in those two US movies you mention as well important British films such as the original ‘Gaslight’ and that sumptuous Cecil Beaton version of Wilde’s ‘Ideal Husband’.

Her career faded, just like Norma’s, but for some unknown reason Daryl F Zanuck gave her a plum role and 6th billing in ‘Island in the Sun’ which was made 24 years after they first met at the Fox lot in LA.

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by Anonymousreply 495November 23, 2021 3:31 AM

R493, its an obvious wig, because everything about the character is fake.

by Anonymousreply 496November 23, 2021 3:36 AM

Norma and Louella

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by Anonymousreply 497November 23, 2021 4:41 AM

@r493, "That hair-do was outrageous ! "

That was Norma's Oompa Loompa phase

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by Anonymousreply 498November 23, 2021 5:12 AM

"That hair-do was outrageous ! "

Bitch stole my look... Oh, wait, I stole HER look

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by Anonymousreply 499November 23, 2021 5:24 AM

^ Norma wore it better.

by Anonymousreply 500November 23, 2021 5:40 AM

Bobby wore it better.

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by Anonymousreply 501November 23, 2021 6:14 AM

Janey wore it worse

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by Anonymousreply 502November 23, 2021 6:19 AM

R493, without ever having seen Idiot's Delight, I *think* her appearance is so fake because she's playing a phony who's acting like royalty, but who's actually just a cheap showbiz personality. "Madame, are you *sure* you've never been to Omaha?"

I'd love to see it but I don't have TCM anymore, but from what I've read it's a silly romantic comedy of manners. Rather slight but given gravitas by its setting amidst the storm clouds of the impending WWII (which even in 1939 everyone was aware was imminent).

by Anonymousreply 503November 23, 2021 6:21 AM

'How came'st thou hither?'

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by Anonymousreply 504November 23, 2021 8:07 AM

Remember that the script of the play says she's 13.

by Anonymousreply 505November 23, 2021 9:57 AM

(R503) Yes the wig is part of the character. Here is Lynn Fontanne in the acclaimed stage version of "Idiot's Delight". Sydney Guilaroff didn't want to copy the Broadway hairstyle completely, so gave it some Hollywood flavor. Within the context of the story, it works well. The character is deliberately played "over the top" because she really is just a showgirl, putting on airs.

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by Anonymousreply 506November 23, 2021 12:23 PM

My favorite exchange:

Gable: Don't I know you from Omaha?

Shearer: Omacha? Cha cha cha! (can't do it justice in print.)

by Anonymousreply 507November 23, 2021 2:02 PM

Back in the '80s there was a big Broadway musical version of Idiot's Delight that starred Len Cariou with a score by Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse. It was titled Dance a Little Closer and closed after the opening night. People called it Close a Little Faster.

by Anonymousreply 508November 23, 2021 2:09 PM

And you do see Norma in her own brunette hair in IDIOT'S DELIGHT by the end of the film.

Can't really remember the exact plot of the original play by Robert Sherwood but it's a lot more than a silly farce, more a tragi-comedy, ultimately about the futility of war in the face of the oncoming WWII.

by Anonymousreply 509November 23, 2021 2:10 PM

[quote] ultimately about the futility of war in the face of the oncoming WWII.

I'm sorry, what? The futility of war in the face of war?

by Anonymousreply 510November 23, 2021 2:36 PM

"Idiot's Delight" received rave reviews from the film critics at the time with the NY Times critic referring to it as one of the "...year's events..." in their review on February 3, 1939.

Shearer's record after she returned to the screen following her husband's death, was enviable. Four big hits in a row and an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for one of them. Under her new contract she got to pick her roles and was not assigned parts by the studio. She chose the least showy role in "The Women", knowing she could do it and that she would probably be upstaged by some of the other characters.

She blamed only herself for the final 2 films that she chose to star in ("We Were Dancing" and "Her Cardboard Lover").

by Anonymousreply 511November 23, 2021 3:17 PM

In the Shearer bio I read, the author talks about how pleased Norma was that the author "got" that she was doing Garbo in Idiot's. Watch this again.

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by Anonymousreply 512November 23, 2021 3:30 PM

"Shearer's record after she returned to the screen following her husband's death, was enviable."

Plus, she got to ride Mickey Rooney's impressive cock.

by Anonymousreply 513November 23, 2021 5:45 PM

R512 I assume Clark Gable gets to slap her playing the idiot in 'Idiot's Delight'.

by Anonymousreply 514November 23, 2021 8:32 PM

Idiot's Delight had to be one of those movies that became quickly dated due to the events later in 1939. I saw it for the first time earlier this year and it's an interesting relic, though stagey at times, but made with the MGM gloss. But I prefer Norma and Gable in their first teaming--A Free Soul. I've not yet seen them together in Strange Interlude and not sure I want to.

by Anonymousreply 515November 24, 2021 1:06 AM

[quote]I've not yet seen them together in Strange Interlude

Another Fontanne role, r515. When she wasn't grabbing Lynn's, she was grabbing Cornell's.

by Anonymousreply 516November 24, 2021 1:16 AM

Or Gertrude Lawrence's (Private Lives).

Well, Norma had good taste in plays.

by Anonymousreply 517November 24, 2021 1:23 AM


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by Anonymousreply 518November 24, 2021 1:25 AM

STRAGE INTERLUDE is one of those plays that was really successful originally, but comes off as laughable nowadays. The move is awful, and the revival above was a bit better, but it's the one performance by Glenda Jackson which I thought was horrible to the extreme, not a moment of honesty throughout. I do remember Petherbridge was very good in it.

by Anonymousreply 519November 24, 2021 1:43 AM

Agree with your every word, r519. My experience exactly.

by Anonymousreply 520November 24, 2021 1:52 AM

"Idiot's Delight"? I never miss a Clark Gable musical.

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by Anonymousreply 521November 24, 2021 3:19 AM

Go to :45, r521, the second from the left chorus girl's strap breaks.

by Anonymousreply 522November 24, 2021 3:34 AM

R521 I've never been a fan of Clark Gable's arrogant persona on screen but I can appreciate his legwork in that dance routine. I've looked on Google and it seems he rarely displayed his body on screen.

My fevered 21st-century imagination tells me that Gable's private sexual persona may have been similar to this young prostitute—

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by Anonymousreply 523November 24, 2021 4:05 AM

And one of the chorus girls is the delightful Virginia Grey, well-remembered on this site as Joan (Crystal Allen) Crawford's pretty blonde shop girl pal Pat in THE WOMEN. Grey was also a long-time/ part-time gal pal of Clark Gable himself, if you catch my drift

by Anonymousreply 524November 24, 2021 4:07 AM

Fontanne refused to do movies and Cornell and Lawrence did not come across well in them.

Private Lives is surprisingly good.

by Anonymousreply 525November 24, 2021 6:07 AM

R524, Virginia Grey was Ross Hunter's "lucky charm". He included her in his movies much like Garry Marshall always cast Hector Elizondo in his movies.

by Anonymousreply 526November 24, 2021 10:57 AM

Fontanne did one movie and hated it. (Though she's really good in it.) Cornell didn't (except for a cameo appearance for the war effort.) Lawrence did a number of them, and seemed fine in some of them.

by Anonymousreply 527November 24, 2021 10:58 AM

"Norma wouldn't take off her wedding ring, even while shooting films.....check it out! It is MASSIVE! Good job Irving!"

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by Anonymousreply 528November 25, 2021 7:08 PM

[quote] I've never been a fan of Clark Gable's arrogant persona on screen but I can appreciate his legwork in that dance routine. I've looked on Google and it seems he rarely displayed his body on screen.

Clark Gable was nothing like his on screen persona. In real life he wasn't this cocksure, wisecracking aggressive lover. In real life he was shy and polite and self deprecating, an ordinary guy who liked hunting and fishing. Men liked him Women were crazy about him. He had a little boy quality about him that made women adore him. He was never the aggressor. He didn't have to be. Women came after him. In droves.

by Anonymousreply 529November 25, 2021 8:39 PM

You really have to go back to his very early 1930s films to get what all the fuss was about with Gable IMHO. Very sexy in Red Dust, Dancing Lady and Mutiny on the Bounty (with no mustache), to name a few. By the end of the decade he already looked pickled, even in GWTW,.

by Anonymousreply 530November 25, 2021 9:40 PM

I think Diana Wynyard, R495, was an interesting performer and she did what Norma Shearer did. She married a film-maker.

She married Sir Carol Reed who was one of Britain's five top films directors but they never made a film which highlighted her at her best. And the marriage inexplicably fell apart after four years.

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by Anonymousreply 531November 25, 2021 10:54 PM

R529, But his breath . . .

by Anonymousreply 532November 26, 2021 2:23 AM

[quote] Vivien Leigh

Poor Vivien was so fastidious she died of shame because she expired on the downstairs loo.

by Anonymousreply 533November 26, 2021 3:02 AM

The acting is so stiff in r528 ‘s post. And Norma had a nonexistent pair of buttocks.

by Anonymousreply 534November 26, 2021 4:33 PM

Ass fuck wasn't big back then.

by Anonymousreply 535November 26, 2021 4:35 PM

It's not about the acting, r534, it's about...the ring.

by Anonymousreply 536November 26, 2021 4:45 PM

R528, Miss Crawford would never wear a ring so ostentatious.

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by Anonymousreply 537November 26, 2021 6:20 PM

[quote] "Norma wouldn't take off her wedding ring, even while shooting films.....check it out! It is MASSIVE! Good job Irving!"

This is how Irving Thalberg proposed to Norma Shearer. He called her into his office; on his desk was a tray of engagement rings. I don't think he said "Will you marry me?" or anything; I guess he thought the tray of rings said it all. She supposedly "smiled and chose a ring." The one she chose was a slender platinum band with a large (not sure how large but it was big) marquise shaped diamond. On her wedding night with Thalberg she went to bed wearing Cartier bracelets. Supposedly she tried to get them off but neither she nor Thalberg could undo the clasps so they "tumbled into the marriage bed" with her expensive jewels still on her wrist. In a scene near the end of "The Women" she's in bed about to turn in for the night, wearing jeweled bracelets. I though it was silly; nobody goes to bed wearing showy bracelets. Well, I guess she really did.

by Anonymousreply 538November 27, 2021 12:57 AM

I've always found Thalberg adorable in pictures, so I don't really buy into Norma just 'using' him for career advancement. Certainly his position at MGM didn't hurt, but it's not like he was some heinous troll, he and Norma were very compatible looks wise and considering Arrouge looked like a bigger version of Irving, I would be that the Thalberg's marriage was a good one.

by Anonymousreply 539November 27, 2021 1:51 AM

The Thalberg/Shearer marriage worked. But it was more of a working arrangement than a love story, although they tried to present the image that they were crazy in love.

by Anonymousreply 540November 27, 2021 1:56 AM

Wow, the Thalberg Wikipedia entry is a mile long - he seems to have really accomplished an extraordinary amount, learning on the job as he went. I'll have to read it some day when I've got nothing to do.

by Anonymousreply 541November 27, 2021 2:00 AM

R539, Norma was fond of riding Irving reverse cowgirl.

by Anonymousreply 542November 27, 2021 2:05 AM

Well done, R538.

by Anonymousreply 543November 27, 2021 2:06 AM

Who did Norma allegedly screw before she married Irving? Was she as promiscuous as Joan Crawford?

by Anonymousreply 544November 27, 2021 2:13 AM

She was more discerning, I would imagine.

by Anonymousreply 545November 27, 2021 2:27 AM

Wasn't everyone?

by Anonymousreply 546November 27, 2021 2:35 AM

Does it come in Jungle Red?

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by Anonymousreply 547November 27, 2021 3:12 AM

[quote]Was she as promiscuous as Joan Crawford?


by Anonymousreply 548November 27, 2021 3:17 AM

Irving looks good here.

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by Anonymousreply 549November 27, 2021 3:19 AM

[quote] Wow, the Thalberg Wikipedia entry is a mile long - he seems to have really accomplished an extraordinary amount, learning on the job as he went.

Because of a heart ailment Thalberg was not expected to live beyond the age of 30. He died at age 37. I guess because he knew his life expectancy would be short he tried to cram as much productiveness into his life as possible. He was constantly working. He probably would have lived longer if he hadn't done a stupid thing. He was playing bridge with some friends on a terrace and the day was cool and breezy. Norma suggested he put on a sweater or that the group move inside. Not wishing to seem delicate and sickly, he dismissed her concerns. Due to his weak constitution he shortly contracted pneumonia and died.

I thought Irving Thalberg was attractive in quite a few of his photos but people who knew commented on how unwell he looked. He didn't do himself any favors by not getting enough sleep and driving himself so hard. But nobody could tell him what to do. Despite his appearance he had a very commanding personality and people deferred to him.

by Anonymousreply 550November 27, 2021 3:35 AM

R550, My older brother had Rheumatic fever as a child which damaged his heart.

My parents were told he would not live beyond 30.

He turned 74 a few weeks ago.

by Anonymousreply 551November 27, 2021 3:43 AM

R549 She's got a bigger jaw than him.

by Anonymousreply 552November 27, 2021 3:44 AM


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by Anonymousreply 553November 27, 2021 4:10 AM

[quote]She's got a bigger jaw than him

She also had a bigger dick than Irving.

by Anonymousreply 554November 27, 2021 4:14 AM

Well when she was descending into dementia she was asking people if they were Irving so there had to be an enormous amount of affection there. It's not like she was going around asking people if they were Louis B Mayer.

by Anonymousreply 555November 27, 2021 12:23 PM

It seems so easy now for people who never met her or Irving or knew any of the people they knew and worked with to declare Norma's first marriage was a business deal, that Norma was a cold mother, that Norma was a raging nymphomaniac.

by Anonymousreply 556November 27, 2021 2:06 PM

A lot of the assumptions are based on biographies about Norma, which have been thoroughly researched r556. We talk a lot about people we don’t know. Try to keep up.

by Anonymousreply 557November 27, 2021 2:40 PM

Norma may have been a distant mother, but both her children succeeded in their lives. Deborah owned and operated a beloved book store/vegetarian cafe for decades in Aspen. Irving Jr. was a high respected college professor and author.

by Anonymousreply 558November 27, 2021 3:20 PM

She wasn't a hands-on mother like Joan, r558.

by Anonymousreply 559November 27, 2021 3:29 PM

^ That's because Norma didn't have a problem with wire hangers

by Anonymousreply 560November 27, 2021 3:58 PM

I wonder if Joan despised wire coat hangers because of her abortions…

by Anonymousreply 561November 27, 2021 6:28 PM

r557, I haven't read all of these biographies you hold up to truth. Were they written by people who knew Norma and Irving? Were her children interviewed? Were her friends and associates interviewed?

I'd love to read a sincerely well-researched bio. Can you recommend one of the ones you trust r557?

by Anonymousreply 562November 27, 2021 11:18 PM

[quote] a sincerely well-researched bio

Americans don't do those. They do fluffy, adolescent, gossipy scuttlebutt.

They don't do thorough, well-documented and footnoted scholarly biographies like 'David Lean' by Kevin Brownlow or 'Alec Guinness' by Piers Paul Read.

by Anonymousreply 563November 27, 2021 11:30 PM

[quote] I'd love to read a sincerely well-researched bio. Can you recommend one of the ones you trust.

There's a good one by Gavin Lambert simply entitled "Norma Shearer." He DID know her and her second husband (Thalberg was long gone by that time). He's obviously a fan but it's not one of those biographies where the author is in love with (or hates) his subject. I'd say anyone who wants to know about her should read it.

I don't think it was "affection" for Thalberg that made her grip the arms of male visitors and ask them "Are you Irving? Were we married?" It's just that her deteriorating mind keep reaching back for the period of her life where she had what she called "the most of life", that time when she was "The Queen of the Lot", married to Irving Thalberg, Head of Production at MGM studios. She wished to be with Thalberg at the end, so her faithful second husband carried out her wishes, interring her beside Thalberg in his marble pavilion. Lambert said:

""The funeral service at Forest Lawn was private, but but then he publicly gave back his wife to Irving Thalberg and to the legend that an old, blind, haunted woman held onto as powerfully as she as she gripped the arm of anyone who could still connect her to it. Norma was interred beside her first husband in his marble pavilion and as she requested the inscription commemorated both her lives> Nest to Irving Grant Thalberg lies Norma Shearer Arrouge."

by Anonymousreply 564November 28, 2021 1:49 AM

R564, As Kay Gable did with Clark, placing him in a crypt next to Carole Lombard.

by Anonymousreply 565November 28, 2021 2:47 AM

Was Joan kind to Norma when Norma was no longer a rival?

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by Anonymousreply 566November 28, 2021 5:54 AM

Norma is interred beside Thalberg's sister, Sylvia, while Irving is in the big marble tomb up front.

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by Anonymousreply 567November 28, 2021 6:27 AM

(R 566) Joan stated to Dore Freeman her longtime friend at MGM, that Norma was the first person to reach out to her after the death of Alfred Steele.

by Anonymousreply 568November 28, 2021 1:44 PM

Joan, Norma and her husband, Marty, in 1964.

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by Anonymousreply 569November 28, 2021 1:48 PM

R569, Wonder if that was before or after Joan's Charlotte debacle.

by Anonymousreply 570November 28, 2021 4:13 PM

[quote]Is it too soon to rag on cross eyed hag Norma Shearer again?

Ragging on Norma knows no season! It's always in fashion!

by Anonymousreply 571November 28, 2021 5:34 PM

I prefer Shearer to Garbo or Dietrich…they’re even more affected and mannered than she was.

by Anonymousreply 572November 28, 2021 10:13 PM

You're allowed to like all three, r572. Well...maybe not on DL.

by Anonymousreply 573November 28, 2021 10:37 PM

[quote] I prefer Shearer to Garbo or Dietrich…they’re even more affected and mannered than she was.

Have you ever seen "Camille?" Or "Queen Christina?" Or Ninotchka?" Or "Touch of Evil?" Garbo and Dietrich were better in those movies than Shearer ever was. Dietrich's performance in "Touch of Evil" was brief but I thought she should have been nominated for an Oscar for it.

by Anonymousreply 574November 28, 2021 10:43 PM

Shearer was a likable presence, but Garbo and Dietrich were absolutely dynamic on-screen.

by Anonymousreply 575November 28, 2021 11:02 PM

Shearer is incredibly charming in Private Lives and she's heart wrenching at the end of Marie Antoinette. I get to like all three.

And her 'Jungle red!' is a classic. I couldn't believe my straight as straight can be father enjoyed The Women.

by Anonymousreply 576November 29, 2021 12:14 AM

Private Lives

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by Anonymousreply 577November 29, 2021 1:04 AM

[quote] Shearer is incredibly charming in Private Lives

I would suggest that 95% of that charm is supplied by Noël Coward's script.

by Anonymousreply 578November 29, 2021 1:40 AM

The Coward style doesn't come to them naturally, r576.

by Anonymousreply 579November 29, 2021 1:42 AM

[quote] And her 'Jungle red!' is a classic.

Actually it left a little room for improvement.

by Anonymousreply 580November 29, 2021 1:46 AM

Norma gets the gold...

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by Anonymousreply 581November 29, 2021 2:38 AM

June at r580, you know you dropped that ball…

by Anonymousreply 582November 29, 2021 3:23 AM
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