‘What Price Widowhood?’: The Faded Stardom of Norma Shearer

  • Lies Lanckman


In this chapter, Lanckman uses fan magazines such as Photoplay to trace the star image of Norma Shearer from the mid1920s to the late 1930s. She focuses particularly on Shearer’s pre-Code films, such as The Divorcee, and on the treatment of the star’s 1927 marriage to MGM mogul Irving Thalberg. Ultimately, she argues that while Shearer’s stable marriage worked together with the films to create a narrative of egalitarian and liberated modernity, the star’s widowhood in 1936 alongside the more conservative nature of post-Code filmmaking condemned her to tragic—and forgettable—respectability.


Motion Picture Norma Shearer Female Employment Sexual Freedom Star Image 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lies Lanckman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ArtsUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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