Norma Shearer

First Lady of the Screen

From Montréal to Hollywood

Known as the “Queen of MGM”, Norma Shearer appeared in over 60 films throughout her 23-year career. Norma successfully transitioned from silent films to talkies in the late 1920s and became one of the most popular actresses in early Hollywood.

Norma is remembered for being a strong-willed woman. She influenced how women were seen in film through her revolutionary roles, which portrayed the independent, self-sufficient women of the 1920s and 1930s. By controlling her own public image and career, Norma transformed herself into a fashion icon and one of the most recognizable and influential women in early Hollywood.

This exhibition highlights Norma’s early life in Canada, her relationships, and the impact she had on the film industry as the “Queen of MGM”. We invite you to discover Norma through this vibrant collection of films and photographs.

The life and accomplishments of actress Norma Shearer is one of the exhibits at the Canadian Women in Film Museum in Cobourg, ON.
"A woman is good, or she is bad, according to the way she does a thing and not because of the thing itself."
Norma Shearer
Norma Shearer in Oscar winning role in The Divorcee (1930) with Chester Morris
Norma Shearer in Oscar winning role in The Divorcee (1930) with Chester Morris
Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)
Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)
Norma Shearer in HE Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney
Norma Shearer in HE Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney

Filmography

Silent Films
  • The Star Border (Vitagraph Studios, 1919)
  • The Flapper (Selznick Pictures, 1920)
  • The Stealers (Robertson-Cole Studios, 1920)
  • Way Down East (United Artists, 1920)
  • The Restless Sex (Cosmopolitan, 1920)
  • The Sign on the Door (First National, 1921)
  • Torchy’s Millions (educational film, 1921)
  • The Leather Pushers (Universal Pictures, 1922)
  • The Man Who Paid (Apfel Productions, 1922)
  • The Bootleggers (Al Gilbert Film Productions, 1922)
  • Channing of the Northwest (Selznick Pictures, 1922)
  • A Clouded Name (Logan Productions, 1923)
  • Man and Wife (Arrow Film Corp., 1923)
  • The Devil’s Partner (Iroquois Productions, 1923)
  • Pleasure Mad (Metro Pictures, 1923)
  • The Wanters (First National Pictures, 1923)
  • Lucretia Lombard (Warner Bros., 1923)
  • The Trail of the Law (Producers Security Corp., 1923)
  • The Wolf Man (Fox Film, 1924)
  • Blue Water (New Brunswick Films, 1924)
  • Broadway After Dark (Warner Bros., 1924)
  • Broken Barriers (MGM, 1924)
  • Married Flirts (MGM, 1924)
  • Empty Hands (Paramount, 1924)
  • The Snob (MGM, 1924)
  • HE Who Gets Slapped (MGM, 1924)
  • Excuse Me (MGM, 1925)
  • Lady of the Night (MGM, 1925)
  • Waking Up the Town (United Artists, 1925)
  • A Slave of Fashion (MGM, 1925)
  • Pretty Ladies (MGM, 1925)
  • The Tower of Lies (MGM, 1925)
  • His Secretary (MGM, 1925)
  • The Devil’s Circus (MGM, 1925)
  • The Waning Sex (MGM, 1926)
  • Upstage (MGM, 1926)
  • The Demi-Bride (MGM, 1927)
  • After Midnight (MGM, 1927)
  • The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (MGM, 1927)
  • The Latest from Paris (MGM, 1928)
  • The Actress (MGM, 1928)
  • A Lady of Chance (MGM, 1928)
Sound Films
  • Voices Across the Sea (MGM short, 1928)
  • The Trial of Mary Dugan (MGM, 1929)
  • The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (MGM, 1929)
  • The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (MGM, 1929)
  • Their Own Desire (MGM, 1929)
  • The Divorcee (MGM, 1930)
  • Let Us Be Gay (MGM, 1930)
  • Jackie Cooper’s Christmas Party (MGM, 1931)
  • Strangers May Kiss (MGM, 1931)
  • A Free Soul (MGM, 1931)
  • Private Lives (MGM, 1931)
  • The Stolen Jools (National Variety Artists, 1931)
  • Strange Interlude (MGM, 1932)
  • Smilin’ Through (MGM, 1932)
  • Hearst Metrotone News (1933)
  • Riptide (MGM/Loews, 1934)
  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street (MGM/Loews, 1934)
  • Romeo and Juliet (MGM, 1936)
  • Mr Will Shakespeare (MGM short, 1936)
  • Marie Antoinette (MGM, 1938)
  • Hollywood Goes to Town (MGM promo, 1938)
  • Idiot’s Delight (MGM, 1939)
  • The Women (MGM, 1939)
  • Escape (MGM, 1940)
  • Good Neighbor Day in Movieland (Hearst, 1941)
  • We Were Dancing (MGM, 1942)
  • Her Cardboard Lover (MGM, 1942)
  • Anniversary (NFB documentary, 1963