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July 14, 2023

Vintage Photos of Norma Shearer During the Filming of ‘A Free Soul’ (1931)

A Free Soul is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film that tells the story of an alcoholic San Francisco defense attorney who must defend his daughter’s ex-boyfriend on a charge of murdering the mobster she had started a relationship with, who he had previously gotten an acquittal for on a murder charge. Directed by Clarence Brown it stars Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, and Clark Gable.

A Free Soul became famous for Barrymore’s climactic courtroom monologue that is said to be the main reason he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 4th Academy Awards that year. Gable made such an impression in the role of a gangster who pushes Shearer around that he was catapulted from supporting player to leading man, a position he held for the rest of his career.

These vintage photos captured portraits of Norma Shearer during the filming of A Free Soul in 1931.


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