Tuesday, November 3, 2015

TCM Star of the Month November 2105: Norma Shearer

Now that we're in the first full week of a new month, it's time for a new Star of the Month on TCM, that being Norma Shearer, who was one of the first big female stars at MGM. I would have said that being married to the best producer on the lot, Irving Thalberg, helped, but in fact Shearer started her career before marrying him, and probably would have been a successful actress at the studio even if she hadn't married Thalberg. I suppose Joan Crawford might have gotten one or another of her roles in that case; if Crawford could do something like the 1931 version of Possessed I think she would have ben able to pull off a Shearer role like the one in A Free Soul without any problems.

The photo above is from A Free Soul, although that movie isn't airing until next Tuesday at 9:30 PM. This first evening of the Shearer salute sees four of her silents, ending at 12:45 AM with He Who Gets Slapped. Perhaps the most interesting movie of the night for me would be A Lady of Chance at 9:15 PM. This one sees Shearer playing a con artist who uses her feminine charms to get well-to-do men into jams and then walks off with their money. That is, until she falls in love with one of them (future cowboy star Johnny Mack Brown) who, it turns out, isn't wealthy at all.

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