I've been a devotee for a number of years. She's a pet largely because she's not as remembered as other 30s titans... and for the more standard reason one loves an actor: I get a kick watching her --especially in The Divorcée and Marie Antoinette. Six years ago when Norma's centennial rolled around there weren't a billion movie blogs celebrating everybody's centennials. Norma missed out. She deserves better.
True story: I was out for drinks with an editor from a publishing house a few months back and he was playing sounding board (I've been trying to get a book deal). I had become briefly obsessed with doing a book on Shearer and the editor, a great guy but a pragmatist, shot me down:
I'm sure it'd be great but you want to sell more than 3,000 copies right?Ouch. See... Norma gets no respect. Not even from people who genuinely love movies.
Perhaps her ghost is just not fierce enough? What her legacy needs is a bit more of that Mrs. Stephen Haines character arc in The Women (1939). Norma's phantom-self needs to stop playing nice and start fighting for her
Instead of "boo" she could hiss "Jungle Red!"