Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Summer Under the Stars - Norma Shearer on TCM
This starts tomorrow. Here are the Raquelle-approved reasons why you should watch each and everyone (except for one). And if you are not a Norma Shearer fan there is something wrong with you. Watching TCM Summer Under the Stars tribute to Norma Shearer can cure you of your atrocious malady.
Lady of the Night (1924) - Joan Crawford absolutely despised and envied Norma Shearer. Especially because Shearer had an established career and dated and then married MGM bigwig Irving Thalberg. Crawford had to play Norma's double in this picture. I bet that got Crawford's goat! Plus Norma Shearer wears a wicked feather headpiece and dons a busca-novio. Excellent!
A Lady of Chance (1928) - A late silent watches like an early silent. It's Art Deco splendor and by far my favorite Norma Shearer film of them all. Read my previous post about it.
Their Own Desire (1929) - It's even more Art Deco splendor. The film was shot on location at the Norconian Resort which is now a rotting Art Deco relic. It's also the first film in which Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer co-star. They went on to make several films together.
Complicated Women (2005) - It's a documentary which features Norma Shearer but mostly discusses actresses and films from the Pre-Code era. It's worth watching.
The Divorcee (1930) - Norma Shearer's husband Chester Morris cheats on her with some tramp. So Shearer cheats on Morris with Robert Montgomery. Morris can't take it so he divorces Shearer. Then Shearer goes and nails every rich guy she can get her hands on including Conrad Nagel. Heck yeah! Plus I dressed up as Norma Shearer in The Divorcee for Kevin's Birthday party.
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) - The start of Norma Shearer's prestige film career (period pieces with costumes and big productions). Charles Laughton co-stars as her tyrant father.
Riptide (1934) - A Montgomery-Shearer vehicle. Watch it for the adult-sized bug Halloween costumes. Excellent!
Escape (1940) - This is one of my least favorite Shearer films mostly because it's very depressing. But if you like depressing WWII movies, this is right up your alley.
Idiot's Delight (1939) - Norma's outrageous wig, canned oyster soup and Clark Gable singing and dancing to Puttin' on the Ritz.
The Student Prince of Old Heidelberg (1929) - Classic story of reluctant prince falling in love with a peasant girl (civilian). Shearer & Novarro's chemistry is sweet and playful, not passionate.
Private Lives (1931) - Watching a bickering couple go from hot and cold was never this fun, especially a couple on their honeymoon, WITH OTHER PEOPLE!
Romeo and Juliet (1936) - I would actually say pass on this one. Shearer and Leslie Howard are far too old to be playing Juliet and Romeo respectively.
Marie Antoinette (1938) - The pinnacle of Norma Shearer's prestige films. Thalberg's final gift to her. It's grandiose and over-the-top just as it should be.
Strangers May Kiss (1931) - Football, men in fur coats, airplanes, awesome. And why can't a girl have fun and not have to worry about her reputation?