Marie Antoinette


Today I am writing for another blogathon and I couldn’t be more excited. This one, hosted by Speakeasy and Silver Screenings, is focused on films from Canada called the O Canada  blogathon . So thanks to the wonderful hosts and be sure to check out other posts form this event too.

I choose to review a classic movie starring one of their most famous icons Norma Shearer who stars in marie antoinette. So to review this classic gem now.

Marie Antoinette (1938) is often said to e the best movie made about the unfortunate Queen of France. Adrian went all out for this lavish, gorgeous production of “Marie Antoinette” starring Norma Shearer, who is never more beautiful or glamorous than in this epic biography. This Marie is quite the heroine, a woman of the people, generous to a fault, and never says, “Let them eat cake but that was to her kids not the people of France as she was out of touch with them as much as any other of her class of the day. This movie stars Norma Shearer and
Tyrone Power and John Barrymore and Anita Louise and Gladys George and Henry Stephenson and Cora Witherspoon and Barnett Parker and Ruth Hussey.

Norma Shearer gave one of her best performance if not her best performance as an actress as she captures the Queen’s charming and lively personality, and her evolution from a young and frivolous teenage girl into a dignified woman and devoted mother and wife and her relationship with the king. Her relationship with Louis changes over the years too. A painstakingly shy and reserved man, the Dauphin prefers to be alone than spend any time with his wife, who then turns to partying, gambling, and fashion to fill her lonely existence. But slowly, they learn to love and respect each other.(color shot which was scraped for this movie as it was to be in color)

The supporting cast of stars such as Tyrone Power and John Barrymore and Anita Louise and Gladys George and Henry Stephenson and Cora Witherspoon and Barnett Parker and Ruth Hussey all really give out such fine performances as each giving fine performances in their acting to their respective roles. Its acting is just amazing as they all give out fine performances. 

The film boasted thousands of expensive costumes and lavish set design. The array of costumes created for the film are among the most expensive in film history. Costume designer Adrian visited France and Austria in 1937 to research the period. While there he purchased vast quantities of antique materials, French lace, and period accessories for use in the film. He studied the paintings of Marie Antoinette, even using a microscope on them, so that the embroidery could be identical. Fabrics were specially woven and subsequently embroidered with stitches sometimes too fine to be seen with the naked eye. The studio raged at the amount of money being spent on costumes for the film. The attention to detail was extreme, from the framework to hair. Some gowns were extremely heavy due to the amount of embroidery, fabric and precious stones used in their creation. Ms. Shearer’s gowns alone had the combined weight of over 1,768 pounds, the heaviest being the 108 pound wedding dress created using hundreds of yards of white silk satin hand embroidered in gilt thread. Originally slated to be shot in Technicolor, many of the gowns were specially dyed. The fur trim on one of Ms. Shearer’s capes was therefore dyed the exact shade of her eyes. It’s truly one of some best costumes ever put to the screen and best set designs all time capturing all the court and its history to great effect.

Thankfully, Adrian’s brilliant designs allowed for the aesthetic of the costumes to shine as we still see such great details to them. We really see her evolution as a character in many of the outfits she wears as it would have shined in color which was scrapped by MGM. MGM spent a great expensive amount on this movie. The costumes alone cost tons so MGM reused them often in other movies.

Masquerade Ball Scene was one of the most famous scenes of this movie. It had really some grand set designs as we see such wonders in this scene which was originally shot in color which shined to look so enchanting on the screen.

The film earned four Academy Awards nominations, including Best Actress for Norma Shearer and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Morley, although both lost to other stars that year. Marie Antoinette Stands among the classics of any era with its great acting and sets and costumes as lovely and enchanting to watch this movie as it truly shines as one of the finest movies of the 1930’s.

The Ruth Rating:five bette's

Edith Norma Shearer was a Canadian-American actress, and a major Hollywood star from 1925 through 1942 which remains one of the finest legends to ever grace the screen so today is a tribute in way to the grand legend of norma shearer one is among one of the finest actresses to grace the screen any era. Thanks to hosts for this wonderful event.


3 thoughts on “Marie Antoinette

  1. Silver Screenings says:

    I think this is my fave Norma Shearer performance. She makes for a very sympathetic Marie Antoinette, as you pointed out.

    I’m not surprised to hear these costumes were some of the most expensive in film history. They are STUNNING – nothing about them looks cheap.

    Thanks for joining the O Canada Blogathon, and for bringing Marie Antoinette – er, I mean, Norma Shearer with you!

  2. Kristina says:

    I agree that this is one of Norma’s very best– when people show doubt about her acting talent, this is a good one to show them. Thanks for joining us in the blogathon.

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