Today is what would have been the 109th birthday of Backlots’ Star of the Week, Norma Shearer! One of the great stars of both the silent and sound eras, her birthday deserves to be celebrated.
One very sad thing I don’t understand is how her name seems to be lost on those not interested in classic film. She made so many incredible, high quality movies, and is horribly underrated in modern culture. I guess since she retired relatively early, and her films don’t tend to be shown on television outside of TCM, her visibility is limited these days. However, the love and appreciation of her within the classic film community more than makes up for the lack of it outside. Silent film fans basically bow to her, and she is universally hailed by critics as one of the finest actresses of her time. Her films are frequently shown on TCM because the powers that be know that their demographic WILL watch her. I just think it’s a shame that more people aren’t aware of her brilliance as an actress.
A question for readers: What is your favorite Norma Shearer movie?
Here is a photographic and video tribute. Happy birthday Norma!
With fan mail, 1925
The Women, 1939
Part 1 of The Divorcée. Norma Shearer was pitted against herself at the 1929-1930 Academy Awards–nominated twice in the same category. She won for The Divorcée. The entire movie is youtube for your viewing pleasure!
The Women. Love that movie. Happy Birthday Norma
I think I would have to agree with you on that one. “The Women” is probably my fave. Thanks for reading!
I like “Smilin’ Through.” Oh, and “The Divorcee” and “Private Lives” and “A Free Soul”….
I think that her finest performance was as Marie Antionette
Lady of the Night is probably my favorite of hers. I like her in The Divorcee but I think Joan Crawford, who was originally cast in the role, would have been a tad bit better.