New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj. 1990. First Edition. Hardcover. 0-394-55158-3 . (price-clipped) [good sound copy, light foxing/soiling to edges of text block, former owner's name and address on ffep; jacket a little scuffed and surface-worn, but no tears or other blemishes]. (B&W photographs) Biography of "the First Lady of MGM" (or, with a little more edge, "Queen of the Lot"), whose favored status at the studio, often attributed (somewhat unfairly) to the power of her husband Irving Thalberg, culminated when at the rather advanced age of 33 she won the part of Juliet in the 1936 film version of "Romeo and Juliet," released mere days before Irving kicked the bucket. Lambert, one of the great Hollywood biographers, vividly portrays the drama and complexity of Shearer's life, as he chronicles how "she was unfailingly attentive to detail, demanding that her costumes, her makeup, and, above all, her scenes, be perfect," while at the same time navigating her "highly publicized, studio-sculpted" marriage to Thalberg, and maintaining her elegant image as the "dream studio wife." And far from fading away after Thalberg's death, she continued to exercise control over her life and career, pursuing choice roles, fighting with Louis B. Mayer over control of M-G-M stock, struggling with the difficulties of motherhood, etc. (Of course, she did retire from the screen at almost the moment she hit forty, in 1942, but never mind about that.) . (Inventory #: 22180)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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