Last night I watched with great delight the wonderful pre-code film “The Divorcee”, with the brilliant actress Norma Shearer. For her outstanding performance in the female leading role, she earned a well-deserved Oscar.
I wish there were still actresses like Norma Shearer. But Norma is only one.
I have seen many of her films, such as “Idiot’s Delight”, “The Women”, and “Escape”. All different roles. She was good at playing comedies, dramas, romance, historical films (see “Marie Antoinette”). She was one of the top female icons at the MGM studios, along with such stars like Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, and Myrna Loy. She retired from acting in 1942, feeling that the war had changed the quality of the motion pictures. But we can still remember her in good, sometimes eccentric roles, like the one she played in “The Divorcee”. The film tells the story of two young lovers who get married, only to discover, after three years, that their love affairs from the past return into their lives, thus affecting their marriage. After getting a divorce and living apart from each other for a period of time, they realize that they still love each other enormously and they should get back together and live the happy moments again.
The film also has some dramatic scenes, which involve a car crash, a love triangle and a beautiful, scar-faced woman, a friend of the heroine. There are also some elegant scenes, with parties of the high society, and you will get to admire some nice dresses, too.
The film benefits from the stellar performances of Chester Morris, Conrad Nagel and Robert Montgomery. In the 82 minutes of length you will certainly be entertained by all these fine actors, matinee idols of the early 30’s, and, of course, you will notice the magnificent scenes of Norma Shearer.
Here is my video tribute to Norma and “The Divorcee”. Enjoy!