Sunday, April 5, 2009

Norma Shearer Week was a success!

I just wanted to thank everyone for their support and encouragement with Norma Shearer week. I'm really happy with the results and the feedback. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank a few folks in particular.

Jennifer Z. ~ For being the ultimate Norma Shearer fan!

Jonas @ All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! ~ For supporting this and all my other crazy ideas.

Kate Gabrielle @ Silents and Talkies ~ For her superb Norma Shearer painting and allowing me to do a guest post for Norma Shearer week on her site.

Carrie @ Classic Montgomery - For helping me with info on Robert Montgomery and his relationship with Norma Shearer. She also posted an ad for A Free Soul on her site.

Laura @ Laura's Miscellaneous Musings - She plugged Norma Shearer Week in her review of Lowell Sherman's Bachelor Apartment (1931).

Thank you goes out to these folks for their encouragement on Twitter and elsewhere:

Wendymoon @ Movie Viewing Girl
Casey @ Noir Girl
Operator 99 @ Allure
Tommy @ Pluck You Too
Cliff @ Vintage Meld -> who Tweeted every post!
Nicole @ Classic Hollywood Nerd
Mercurie @ A Shroud of Thoughts

... and everyone who commented!

Norma Shearer week got some links:

Fox News & Chicago Sun-Times ~ Posted my From Montreal to Hollywood: Norma Shearer's Story.
Large Association of Movie Blogs (L.A.M.B.) ~ My fellow LAMBs (baa) helped me plug Norma Shearer week.
Deliberate Pixel ~ The editor thought Norma Shearer week was going to be on TCM. Oops!
Turner Classic Movies ~ With Norma Shearer week I have a lot more Norma content on this blog, so I submitted my label link Queen Norma Shearer as a fan site for her TCM page and got accepted!

I leave you now with an anecdote from Gavin Lambert's Norma Shearer biography. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 23, 1936. The annual Mayfair Club Ball... It took place in the Garden Room at the Victor Hugo restaurant, a supreme example of Beverly Hills posh, designed like a Roman atrium with a rounded glass roof, fake Appian Way statuary, genuine flowering vines, and an oval carpet of grass-green wool. The official hostess, Carole Lombard, had asked all the ladies to come dressed in white. Fairly late, two couples arrived together, Norma and Irving and Merle (Oberon) and David Niven. Merle looked decorous in protocol white, but Norma was a study in strapless and backless scarlet.

Lombard managed a polite greeting, then turned away and made the rounds of other guests, expressing her opinion of Mrs. Thalberg in her usual pungent, four-letter-word style. "Sheer ego" was Eleanor Boardman's verdict, but John Houseman had a different slant. He knew Norma only slightly at the time but later noticed "her occasional compulsion to assert herself publicly by refusing to conform." This seems close to the mark, for a photograph of the event shows Norma looking openly pleased with herself, as if enjoying the effect of not giving her expected, perfect social performance.

That's so Norma!


  1. I have to congratulate you on a job well done, Raquel. I think Norma Shearer Week was a great idea, especially given there is so little that is actually substantial about her on the web. You did a great job.

  2. I second what Mercurie said-- Job Well Done!! I loved learning more about Norma -- I can't wait until you do your next star-week!! (ps. I don't know if you deleted the post or something, but I just saw a Ball of Fire post in my dashboard and I really hope you're still going to post it because it's one of my all-time favorite films! I really want to read what you wrote about it!!)

  3. I'm so glad that Norma Shearer week went so well and congratulations on such a great job on it.

  4. Lolita- Isn't it hilarious? I couldn't not share it. I love the thought of Norma in red and Carole Lombard cursing. Ha ha.

    Mercurie - THank you so much, I appreciate highly your kind words.

    Kate Gabrielle- Thank you! I meant for the Ball of Fire post to be scheduled for later in the week but it slipped me by. It's already leaked out so I'm posting it again now.

    Nicole - Thank you!!!

  5. Congratulations on your success! I'm thrilled for you about the TCM link! That is such a hilarious story about Norma and Carole. Can you imagine how amazing it must have been to be in that restaurant, surrounded by so much white and then to have Norma come cascading in in her red dress? I think it could stun your sight for a moment!

  6. This has always been my favorite Norma Shearer anecdote. In one of Irving Thalberg's biographies, where I first read it, it's longer and more detailed. Norma and Carole hated each other and the thought of spoiling Carole's black and white party (the men were in black, of course) was just too good to resist. Perhaps Norma got the idea from the stage play "Jezebel", which opened in Broadway 3 or 4 years before the film. Anyway, it was inspired mischief; a way of thumbing her nose at Carole and all those who thought that she had climbed to the top by marrying Irving. And of looking like a million!

  7. Hello- Here is a rather more "colorful" if not accurate Description of the above event, as witnessed by David Nivin from his book Shoot The Moon. Niven says "Carole Lombard noted for her sometimes foul language,after seeing Norma arrive in the red dress announced to the entire group loud enough for everyone to hear, Who the fuck does Norma think she is, The House Madam?" He later comments that Norma Had personal "Training" from hubby Thalberg on how to make his star stand out in a crowd. Notice how the star in any MGM movie will somehow most always by dressed to get more noticed. Carole knew COMPLETELY what Norma was up to.


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