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Norma Shearer...amazing


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Hey all..

 

im watching the Women...yes with Joan..perfect part for her..lol..sorry..anyway..wow..Norma Shearer...undeniably beautiful...great actress..the scene with her daughter and her and shes trying to explain to her why divorce is happening..my god..breathtaking....there arent enough words to explain this womans presence in front of the camera!

 

Ava

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I love Norma Shearer...I love Norma Shearer!!!!!

 

"The Women" is one of my faves! I checked out a copy from the library last year, just because I had been hearing a lot about it! Then to my surprise I loved it! You are also so right the part is perfect for Joan!!!! :) That is why I love the end, (even though I have seen it a billion times) because then Joan gets burned! The whole movie is quite witty, that is what I love, comedy with words,not slapstick!

 

But anyways back to Norma (hate the name, love the actress). I personally haven't seen too much of her, but I am getting more! Also did you know she discovered Janet Leigh? Any ways I AGREE with you she was talented, beautiful, and pure amazing. Also she was offered the part of Scarlet O'Hara, but turned it down. Thank goodness! If she had become Scarlet she never would have been Mary Haines (that would be tragic!)

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I'm a Shearer fan, been so for many years, I should know what she looks like, after all I've spent a small fortune collecting her films, publications, original 16x20 and 8x10 photos signed by the Queen of MGM. I won't let this "love" however, blurred my better judgement. The Women a very poor example to classified Shearer as "a beauty" for it displays her in a very unflattering way. Shearer looks very short (more so than Crawford) overweight, ham-mish at best. What makes this film memorable and fun to watch side of the BIG names all women cast is the bitchery. Shearer was the star, but Crawford swept away with film under her mink coat.

 

DePalma

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"The Women" wasn't necessarily a great acting time for the stars, but it is fun! I disagree though, I DON'T think Joan stole the movie! It was the first time I saw Norma Shearer, and I was mesmerized by her performance, not Joan's! It is funny the reason I got the movie was because Roz was in it, not because of anyone else! But great supporting cast! Joan Fontaine, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, Virginia Weilder, Marjorie Main, and others

 

Message was edited by: ILoveRayMilland

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Norma was the drama

 

Russell was the laughs

 

Crawford was the wrecker

 

All major BEACHES!

 

BUT

 

Joan is the one that comes accross with any vulnerability to her flaws and THAT is more than any of the other "Ladies" can say abou theirs.

 

You are entile to your opinion of course.

 

DePalma

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ya know Depalma,

 

your a real pain in the but!! For real...when i said beauty its not JUST OUTSIDE..DUH! Thats all u got from my thread...lol....she was A PRESENCE on screen do u know what that is???? Something from INSIDE...And by no means did Joan steal that movie..first off her character u hated...she wasnt suppose to move u in anyway shape or form...thats why she got what she got in the end..and as far as im concerned Joan Crawford always had that COLDNESS in every role she played..every 1...something just cold and mean lerking behind those eyes and thats the TRUTH...

 

and YES i can have my opinion..thats the first correct thing u have said

 

Ava

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I won't call you names for your opinion like you do me for mine.

I don't agree with yours, but yes, you have the right to voice it.

However, don't forget in the process of trying to make your point more solid

with a potty mouth that I do have the right to mine too.

 

Bye

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Depalma..

 

i see so u can without a potty mouth put down MY opinion in your OWN way but when i try to defend myself..NO..no good..lol..funny how that works..i talk the way i talk..i am a VERY nice person until u come at me..for NO reason as well..again go back to my original thread i was commenting on the documenatry that TCM had on..and Joan was in it herself talking her crazy talk on dick cavett..i mean i dont know u Depalma i have nothing against u,...but u seem to want to push buttons..am i wrong here>> i know im not the only one seeing this..

 

Ava

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Actually "you" came to mine "first" about not liking what I said about Scarlet Johansson.

I guess it just slipped your mind.

Remember now?

It works both ways you know.

While on the subject, you calling Joan Crawford "evil" on her birthday was just a "nice way" for you to invite a friendly discussion from her true fans.

I won't post on your threads again.

You on the other hand are welcome to mine, always.

 

DePalma

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Thanks! I respect your opinion too! Obviously this is why there is a message board, so we can discuss our DIFFERENT opinions, and yes argue a little (all in fun!). If you like Joan best you will like HER performance best, if you like Norma best you will like HER performance best. it is as simple as that.

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Depalma,

 

 

Hold up..are u saying that my comment to you about Scarlett Johansons looks which U put out there to begin with and i said my opinion..you are causeing all this fuss over something i saw on TCM about Joan Crawford to get back at me for that?....oh wait a minute..may i ask how old u are..because im getting this now are u very young? Just curious it would make scense to me now though i do plan on ignoring you from here on in..i just want to know how old u are?

 

Ava

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Btw i didnt say i didnt like what u said i disagreed on u calling her annoying to look at..

 

this is silly im done..this forum is for ppl to speak there mind not play games..not waist time with this nonsence...im here as a true lover of Movies and the actors in it and there work..thats all..if i find out some info on them well i can sure damn well say my peice..im done with silly stuff like dealing with you..

 

Ava

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I adore Norma, she's my all-time favorite actress and Hollywood personality. I too think that she shines as "Mary Haines", which wouldn't have been easy. Every actress knows that generally speaking, "bad girl" roles just fundamentally have more interest "built-in" to them thahn the good-girl roles. Norma made all her roles interesting in some way.

 

I liked Joan Crawford in the movie too, except two parts really get on my nerves-when she's having the phone conversation with Stephen Haines at the department store--some of her speech mannerisms really annoy me in this conversation--and when she's talking to Buck Winston on the phone in her bathroom and she goes from being flirtatious with him, to angrily annoyed-she almost gave me whiplash, the change was so sudden and disconcerting. F Scott Fitzgerald made some remark, in Joan's early career, about her problem with changing facial expresion without over dramatisation (I forget how he worded it), and these two scenes exemplify that for me.

 

Norma had her own mannerisms, but they seemed so natural to her, so really her, that they just don't annoy me. And she brought a lightness and ease of manner to everything she did-sometimes Joan could be too overbearingly intense. I sometimes wonder if that was a result of their differing life experience--Norma's life was comparative sunshine to Joan's---she didn't seem so intense about everything.

Norma could never have made movies such as "Torch Song"---I'll leave that there :)

 

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm nuts about Norma :) But I greatly admire Joan especially in her earlier career. I just feel that "spark" with Norma, that compatability, as an actress and a person. It's merely a question of taste. One of my favorite movies to "replay" mentally is Norma in "Private Lives" and as "Mrs Cheney". Such attractive, compelling frothiness that Norma has in those films,with acting substance supporting the bubbles-she just makes it look easy :)

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daddysprimadonna..

 

Great name first off...lol....well said...thats exactly how i feel about her as an actress compared to Joan...i get the same feeling..but i am staying away from Joan...lol...but u said it so well daddys...im hope they dont come down on u hun...lol...i know if i said something like that about Joan..(NOT that u said anything bad) but form me they would tear it up...anyway well said i totally agree...those scenes in Women with Joan on the phone annoyed me too..but in all fairness to her i think she wanted us to be annoyed..that was Joan..as i said yesterday that character she played had NO redeeming qualities...and yes Joan was much more intense then Norma...Norma shined..Joan scowered..there seemed to always be a chill behind everything she did...

 

And as far as Mrs,Cheney i said in one of my threads yesterday but it was looked over.....lol...she was great and in that role there were moments where u could see Joans soul........and yes that was early in her career..

 

Ty Daddys appreciate the mutual understanding..

refreshing

 

Ava :-)

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Thanks for the nice post :)

 

It's funny, both Norma (before the Hays Code went into effect) and Joan (after the Hays Code) made versions of "Mrs Cheney"-naturally, I prefer Norma's--but that's not entirely due to Norma--it's also because I prefer the character actors in her version, and because I prefer the truer atmosphere that was possible without the interference of the Hays code :) But as always, I admit that I also prefer Norma's lighter style, and she seemed more the type who could've actually fooled high English society into accepting her as a woman of breeding.

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daddysprimadonna,

 

wow..i didnt know that..so Norma did that movie to..i would loove to see it...i just saw it for the first time yesterday with Joan...interesting u said u liked Normas version better...again i havent seen it..but i was thinking when i was watching it wow..what a great part for Joan..it would take someone like Joan to do it...hmmmmm..interesting..i cant see Norma in that kind of role..that untrusting coldness..hmmmm...lol...now youve got me chomping at the bit to see Norma..lol..well maybe someday...

 

and yes i agree she was a ladys lady Norma..what i call a REAL WOMAN! No hangups..just her..everything out there for u to see..beautiful woman..

 

ty again for your post as well and yvw

 

Ava :-)

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Prima...I haven't heard from you on the Boards in a month of Sundays. How's it going?

 

I'm a fan of Norma's and Joan's. But I agree that there was something more natural and playful about Norma in her roles, than Joan. Joanie was intense. Kind of actress-y. (And truth be told, Norma was as well). But I've seen Norma in some pre-code flicks with Robert Montgomery, and I swear I couldn't see the strings.

 

But maybe that's why I love Joan. I see the strings...and I don't mind. Do you think, PrimaDonna, that we are looking at Joan & Norma & Harding & Dunne & Hepburn et al with 21st century eyes... that acting styles changed? What are your thoughts on that.

 

When Norma told Gable: "...put 'em around me," I was hers for life.

 

At least for me, there's room for everybody that shone in Hollywood.

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Hi Cinemaven :) truth be told, I got REALLY REALLY aggravated that my spam mail is being indeed SPAMMED to death with post updates, and I just didn't feel like posting becasue I was annoyed with TCM :)

 

But I can hardly see a thread about my girl Norma and not comment, LOL-though all I really have to say is, I love her, I lover her, I lover, LOL.

 

Yes, I must admit that Norma was as "actressy" (I know just what you mean, hehe!) in her own way, as Joan was in hers. I suppose it really is just a matter of taste-Norma's mannersims endear her to me, while Joan's annoy me. Bottom line, since I can't defend Norma's and not excuse Joan's, it's just what you like. To me, Norma's mannerisms are Norma being Norma--and with all I've read about her, I know that in real life she worked just as hard at her image as Joan did. But she didn't seem to have the same, I don't know, chip on her shoulder that Joan did-she felt the same , that the world was a place that she must defy and overcome to succeed, but she didn't seem to think it was out to get her personally. She seemed more to accept it as just a fact of life, rather than a personal slam against her. I suppose the difference in backgrounds gave her that basic self-confidence and vision of success that Joan didn't seem to have. Norma never felt like an outsider, the world was there for her to conquer. Joan seemed to have looked at it more as a grudge fight where she already didn't belong. "If she couldn't join 'em, she'd beat 'em". That's my amateur analysis of it all, anyway :)

 

As for the difference in acting styles-that's a thought, but for the very very few contemporary films I've seen in the last so many years-it seems to me that even the more "naturalistic" style preferred these days has its own kind of "mannerisms". There was a period in which I wondered, "is it more realistic because everyone curses?", LOL. Because in my world (and we're not "Bible-thumpers", though we're mostly Christians), everyone and his brother doesn't naturally just curse (I've been known to let a few fly under extreme duress, LOL!) But how realistic do we want our film? I mean, we could go as far as including bathroom scenes (after all, no human ever born doesn't go), and such. I prefer the glamor, I'm sure that's plain :)

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Hi AvaG,

Have you seen A WOMAN OF CHANCE (1928) OLD HEIDELBERG (1927) or HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (1924)?

All three have Norma in them. A WOMAN OF CHANCE was Norma's last silent, OLD HEIDELBERG, is a touching romantic film that also features Ramon Novarro. HE WHO GETS SLAPPED was a the first film released by the newly formed MGM, and were breakthrough roles for both Norma and John Gilbert (and it stars Lon Chaney too!). TCM shows these movies once in a while.

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[xgmr2h.jpg]

 

As a well informed Hollywood collector and Shearer fan, I know for a fact that she was not a beauty. Even Thalberg, who was more familiar with her than any of us thought so too. Norma was neither a great actress, but she was "effective", ambitious and very determined to learn her craft. Just like she entrusted herself to the hands of Hurrell to give her the illusion of "beauty" and sex appeal, so she gathered the best in the business to help with her looks and with her performances. Norma Shearer had good bone structure, a very classic profile, a generous mouth and wonderful teeth. Her most obvious flaw was the way her eye at times " wandered" off focus but this too she seemed to overcome in most cases. Shearer defined the MGM glamour of the modern, super-chic female who through her own creation achieved great success in the business and the adoration of millions. Can I even think for a second any other actress dead or a live who could have or can play a more fabulous and glamorous Marie Antoinette than Norma Shearer, not a chance.

You are all of course entitle to your opinions as well as I am.

 

DePalma

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Ava,

I hope you don't mind but I'm reposting what I posted in your other Norma thread as I didn't notice this one. I wrote earlier:

 

I'm a big fan of Norma Shearer. I have about 20 of her films in my collection. I thought she was wonderful in The Women. Janet Leigh does a nice tribute to Norma that runs on TCM from time to time.

 

Another of her later films that I like very much is Escape from 1940. The final scenes in Marie Antoinette are heart wrenching and truly reveal her power as an actress.

 

Her earlier films are not shown as often on TCM since the change of ownership. She does a nice turn of character in Let Us Be Gay 1930. She's with the great Marie Dressler in that one. She shows off her comic side in Private Lives 1931 with Robert Montgomery. There is also a scene near the end of Hollywood Revue of 1929 where she and John Gilbert lapse out of character and he gently ribs her about a nickname and asks her is "that what Irving calls you?" it always touches me because for a brief moment we get to see these stars being themselves.

 

Norma led an interesting life off the screen as well. Gavin Lambert wrote a good biography of her called Norma Shearer: A Life. It's worth seeking out if your interested. Unfortunately both of Norma's children are now deceased so there is no living link to this great actress anymore.

 

The story of her courtship and marriage to Irving Thalberg is very interesting. They were truly devoted to each other. It should also be remembered that Thalberg was a major stock holder in MGM. After his death Norma inherited his stake in the company. She suffered from anxiety. She feared that she would inherit the mental disorder that befell her sister Athole (who was Mrs. Howard Hawks). In her work she was very practical and hard working but her fear of aging on screen clouded her judgment toward the end of her career.

 

I would also agree that Norma really shined in silent film. Those titles that Scottman mentioned are all very good.

 

Also, Joan Crawford probably had some basis for her resentment. Norma was secure at MGM and married to Thalberg. Crawford made a lot of money for the studio but felt she could never compete for roles with Norma.

 

I went to see the play Christmas with the Crawfords last December. In it Joan makes a speech I'm not sure where the quote originally came from but she says:

Garbo supplied the art, Shearer the prestige and I paid for it all.

 

Anyway, I always love to talk about Norma. I'm glad she has so many other fans.

 

Here is a link to a nice website tribute to her. It has a nice magazine layout where Norma shows how to make Canadian oatmeal sticks. There is lots of fun stuff there

 

http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/boulevard/5255/

 

Hope you don't mind the cross posting.

 

Molo

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I never said she was not lovely and with masters like Thalberg, Hurrell, Van Dyke, Daniels, Willinger, Adrian and Max Factor in her corner, Shearer's "illusion of beauty" was achieved as good as any of the true beauties on the silver screen in some of her best films and photographs.

 

Thanks for allowing me to say my piece.

 

DePalma

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