Friday, 3 August 2012

Myrna Loy: The Precode Chameleon

Myrna was a stunning actress  whose career spanned over 50 years. She was known for playing head strong but loving society ladies, such as, in 'The Thin Man' (1934) and 'Libeled Lady' (1936). I first fell in love with her while watching a Cary Grant marathon. Instead of focusing on Cary, I spent my time viewing 'Batchelor and the BobbySoxer' (1947) and 'Mr Blandings Builds His Dream Home' (1948) transfixed by Myrna's natural grace and talent.

But, what most people don't know is that Myrna, like Joan Crawford, was a master chameleon. I'm not sure whether it was brains or pure chance but she seemed to exemplify the needs and desires of the American woman in every decade she was in Hollywood. To celebrate her 105th birthday on the 2nd of August, I have done a little photo montage of her every-changing roles and appearance in the Precode era. It is amazing to see how one woman could go from vamp to housewife in just five years.

The Exotic Vamp

The Black Watch (1929)

The Desert Song (1929)


Manipulative Oriental Witches

Thirteen Women (1932)

Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)


Manipulative Society Women  

Animal Kingdom (1932)

Penthouse (1933)


The Perfect Wife

Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

'The Thin Man' (1934)

Vamp to a Wife in just five years.....
Blink and you will miss it....


  1. I have to say your blog is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs! Please keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I learn more about the blogging world everyday.

  2. An excellent actress. I do not know too much about their pre-code movies but I like it on The Thin Man and has a great performance in The Best Years of Our Lives, as wife and mother.
    Now I'm reviewing Song of the Thin Man.

  3. Myrna is great in Precode - you never know what you are going to get!!

  4. I love Myrna (my second-favorite actress, next to Carole Lombard), and it's fascinating to view her during this era. In fact, the April 1933 Photoplay had a story -- "No More Chinese, Myrna?" -- about her attempt to escape playing Asian stereotypes: http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/113227.html.

    BTW, Aug. 2 was the 107th anniversary of Loy's birth (she was born in 1905).

  5. Thanks, Ill have a look. Thanks for the year, my maths isnt the best.

  6. The Black Watch? That looks dynamite - never heard of it and I've heard of everything! Was that sound?