Tag Archives: Norma Shearer

Sidney Franklin – The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com by Mark Deming
Based on a successful stage drama, this historical romance stars Norma Shearer as Elizabeth Barrett, an invalid largely confined to her bed. Elizabeth has little company beyond her dog and her obsessively protective father, Edward Moulton Barrett (Charles Laughton). Her one great passion and means of emotional escape is writing poetry, to which she devotes a large part of her days. She makes the acquaintance of fellow poet Robert Browning (Fredric March), who pays her a visit. They respect each others’ literary abilities and become romantically attracted to each other. Robert asks for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, but Edward refuses to allow it. Elizabeth must battle her father for the right to live her own life, but eventually she is able to wed Robert and bring herself back to health. Director Sidney A. Franklin also helmed a remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957); it was his last film. Read More »

George Cukor – The Women (1939)

Synopsis:
Wealthy Mary Haines is unaware her husband is having an affair with shopgirl Crystal Allen. Sylvia Fowler and Edith Potter discover this from a manicurist and arrange for Mary to hear the gossip. On the train taking her to a Reno divorce Mary meets the Countess and Miriam (in an affair with Fowler’s husband). While they are at Lucy’s dude ranch, Fowler arrives for her own divorce and the Countess meets fifth husband-to-be Buck. Back in New York, Mary’s ex is now unhappily married to Crystal who is already in an affair with Buck. When Sylvia lets this story slip at an exclusive nightclub, Crystal brags of her plans for a still wealthier marriage, only to find the Countess is the source of all Buck’s money. Crystal must return to the perfume counter and Mary runs back to her husband. Read More »

Robert Z. Leonard – Let Us Be Gay (1930)


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Plot: Dowdy housewife Kitty dotes on her self-centered husband but divorces him when his mistress shows up at their home one day to break up their marriage. Bob had become bored with her lackluster appearance, their children and himself. Kitty re-invents herself and becomes a Continental favorite, dressing like a fashion model and behaving gaily. Three years after their divorce, Bob is at the home of a wealthy matron romancing her soon-to-be-married granddaughter, when the matron invites Kitty to a weekend party to steal Bob away from the granddaughter. When Kitty and Bob see each other, neither lets on they have a past, and the party continues as Bob pursues his ex-wife and new conquest equally. Written by Ron Kerrigan Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke – Marie Antoinette (1938)


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With a seven-figure budget and veteran director W.S. Van Dyke at the helm, MARIE ANTOINETTE is one of the most opulent period dramas produced in the golden era of Hollywood. The film chronicles the life of the 18th-century queen, following her emotional transformation from childhood as a young Austrian princess to her last days in the court of Louis XVI before the French Revolution. Led by the talents of Norma Shearer as Marie, John Barrymore as Louis XVI, and Tyrone Power as Marie’s childhood friend and aspiring lover, Count Axel de Fersen, the film exposes the power plays and chicaneries of the French court, painting the Duke d’Orleans as the villainous source of Marie’s public relations tragedy. With the extravagance of the court matched vociferously by the extravagance of the production, a romantic score by Henry Stothart, and a strong performance from Shearer, MARIE ANTOINETTE is a quality period drama. Read More »