Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Natalie Wood! July 20th

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite stars and an exceptional actress, the late Natalie Wood.  She started out as a child actress and appeared in many films most notably "Miracle of 34th Street."  As a teen she was in two great films;  Nicholas Ray's "Rebel Without a Cause" with James Dean and John Ford's masterful "The Searchers."  One of her greatest performances is in Elia Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass," as the tragic "Deanie."  A really great performance by this beautiful woman.  

Some of her other films that I like with Miss Wood are:  "Kings Go Forth" with Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis, "This Property is Condemned," with Robert Redford, "West Side Story," "Sex and the Single Girl," "Gypsy," Blake Edwards' "The Great Race," "Love With the Proper Stranger" with Steve McQueen, "Inside Daisy Clover" with Redford and Christopher Plummer, Paul Mazursky's "Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice," and an excellent tv presentation of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," with Laurence Olivier and husband Robert Wagner.  Wood is really good as "Maggie the Cat" in this nice production from the BBC and Olivier.

She died tragically in 1981 under mysterious circumstances but her star still burns bright with her radiant screen presence.

Here's a nice tribute to Miss Wood from her co-star Robert Redford that ran on TCM:

Here's the trailer from Elia Kazan's production of William Inge's "Splendor in the Grass."

You can see many of Natalie Wood's films from Netflix and on TCM.  I think you'll like them.