THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY
Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: July 6, 1929
Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Basil Rathbone
Producer: Irving Thalberg
Director: Sidney Franklin
Screenwriters: Hanns Kräly (as Hans Kraly), Claudine West
Source: The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, a play by Frederick Lonsdale
Cinematographer: William Daniels
An exclusive weekend party exposes a glamorous society woman as a con artist.
“The Last of Mrs. Cheyney has gone into production at the M-G-M studio, with a cast headed by Norma Shearer. Sidney Franklin is directing this all-talking picturization of Frederick Lonsdale’s Broadway play.”
- “Shearer Film Started,” The Film Daily, March 7, 1929
“Miss Shearer’s work is remarkably good. She talks charmingly, and, of course, she is good looking. The speaking likeness of Mrs. Cheyney makes that resourceful woman of the world a thoroughly engaging person, clever and almost Wildean in her stinging comments to her society companions.”
- Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times, August 12,1929
“The role of Mrs. Cheyney is no mere scenarist’s confection. It is strict, precise, exacting. The manner is difficult, the method is more so, the characterization is almost too perfect, by script to admit of perfect portrayal. Yet, perfect portrayal is what Miss Shearer gives it. If you will understand what I mean, I say I did not recognize the principal, as Miss Shearer, only as Mrs. Cheyney. Then I will say it. I did not.”
- T.O. Service, Exhibitor’s Herald-World, July 13, 1929.
“When their relative merits of recent pictures have been discussed in the last two leeks, conversation usually begins or ends with The Last of Mrs. Cheyney. It is infrequently that one production is accorded the unanimity of praise that has been bestowed on this new Shearer vehicle. For here is the type of story that lends itself so extremely well to talking pictures. On the stage, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney was nothing short of delicious, and Sidney Franklin has caught the spirit of the play. Norma Shearer does extremely competent work, the best, as a matter of fact, that we have seen her do. It seems to us that The Last of Mrs. Cheyney and others of its type —too few, unfortunately—go a considerable distance in justifying the existence of dialogue pictures.”
- Kann, “Mrs. Cheyney,” The Film Daily, August 26, 1929
LETTERS FROM REGIONAL THEATER OWNERS
“The first Shearer I have had for a long time. It pleased."
- W.T. Biggs, Adair Theatre, Adair, Iowa, Exhibitors Herald World, September 7, 1929
“Here’s a smooth London society drama that has real class. Norma makes an entrancing lady crook who isn’t so crooked. This girl can sure wear clothes. And how!”
- S.B. Kennedy, Central Theatre, Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada, Exhibitors Herald World, September 14, 1929
“This drawing room comedy was enjoying success in both London and New York, where I saw Ina Claire sparkle as Mrs. Cheyney.”
- Norma Shearer, Memoir Notes
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney cost $569,000 and grossed $1,121,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)