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Her Cardboard Lover

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

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mrsl
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Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
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Her Cardboard Lover

Postby mrsl » April 14th, 2010, 10:52 pm

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I love Norma Shearer and will adore her until the day I quit watching movies but. . . .

In his intro, RO said Norma at 40 did not want to play mothers yet. Coming just 3 years after playing the mother in The Women, maybe it was Virginia Weidler who made her decide that. I'm just kidding, but as much as I like Norma, she was definitely past the cute babe who could still wrap the guy around her finger, if he was not prone to do so. She was such a beautiful woman, if she had accepted her age, she could have continued acting for years to come. She had that queenly stature that raised her above the Bette Davis', and Joan Crawfords. I'm not saying she was more beautiful than them, but she carried herself like a monarch.

In this one she spends the whole two hours trying to get to see George Sanders, or get him to come to her, but she has made arrangements with Bob Taylor for him to stop her from either of those things, by using any methods he can think of. They go through several silly sessions and finally in the last five minutes of the movie (I'm not exaggerating), she decides Bob is the one she wants after all. It is a cute movie, but someone like Harlow or even Davis, playing it, not as slapstick but close to, would have made it much funnier. Norma just doesn't have that sparkelly spark to play this kind of comedy any longer. I know she didn't feel safe with her husband no longer the head of the studio, but if she had just held out, she may have gotten some of those super parts that came along during, and after the war ended, like Mrs. Miniver, or the mom in The Best Years of our Lives.

I would have loved to see her stretching herself a little.
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Anne


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intothenitrate
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Re: Her Cardboard Lover

Postby intothenitrate » April 19th, 2010, 7:33 am

My daughter-in-law is a fledgling classic film fan..and she's fascinated by Norma Shearer. I, however, find it difficult to summon my enthusiasm to match her's. When Norma's on screen, I find myself tuning out her theatrics and paying more attention to her game lil' chassis. (Yes, I'm a pig).

Thank you mrsl for pulling back the curtain on a little psychological speculation! May I indulge along? I seem to have read that Norma came to Hollywood with her mom and (more marketable) older sister. She was short, a little plump, and had that lazy eye thing going on. But she had a steel will--not unlike Joan Crawford--to get to the top of the heap and stay there as long as possible. She had more to compensate for than Joan (and others), so her determination must have been all the more chilling. It's hard for people like that to lighten up.

I don't think Norma had much of a sense of humor about herself--like Garbo...or Davis...or Mary Astor. Two Face Woman may stink as a movie, but it's worth watching just to see Garbo play at it. Add to that list Carole Lombard, perhaps the champion of not-taking-oneself-too-seriously for that period.

[IMHO]
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington

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mrsl
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Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Re: Her Cardboard Lover

Postby mrsl » April 19th, 2010, 2:39 pm

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Norma was married to Irving Thalberg who was able to secure leading roles for her. When he died, is when she began to feel more insecure, and Her Cardboard Lover was her final film. I agree that she kept a lot of her 'silent film' mannerisms, they drive me nuts sometimes too. She is forever messing with her hair, fixing her skirt, tucking in her blouse etc., and she never lost that wide-eye look of surprise that was necessary in silents, but not necessary in talkies. But even with all those faults, I love her. Your daughter could do a lot worse for a person to study.
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************


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