Tag Archives: Natalie Wood

Elia Kazan – Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Quote:
It’s 1928 in oil rich southeast Kansas. High school seniors Bud Stamper and Deanie Loomis are in love with each other. Bud, the popular football captain, and Deanie, the sensitive soul, are “good” kids who have only gone as far as kissing. Unspoken to each other, they expect to get married to each other one day. But both face pressures within the relationship, Bud who has the urges to go farther despite knowing in his heart that if they do that Deanie will end up with a reputation like his own sister, Ginny Stamper, known as the loose, immoral party girl, and Deanie who will do anything to hold onto Bud regardless of the consequences. They also face pressures from their parents who have their own expectation for their offspring. Bud’s overbearing father, Ace Stamper, the local oil baron, does not believe Bud can do wrong and expects him to go to Yale after graduation, which does not fit within Bud’s own expectations for himself. And the money and image conscious Mrs. Loomis just wants Deanie to get married as soon as possible to Bud so that Deanie will have a prosperous life in a rich family. When Bud makes a unilateral decision under these pressures, it leads to a path which affects both his and Deanie’s future. Read More »

Delmer Daves – Kings Go Forth (1958)

Synopsis:
Race, love, and war. The Allies have landed in France, set up in a coastal town, where Lt. Sam Loggins, a serious guy from Manhattan’s west side, falls hard for Monique Blair, an American raised in France. Loggins’ sergeant, Britt Harris, a playboy from Jersey, also finds Monique attractive. She chooses one to love and the other to befriend after disclosing her parents’ history and why she lives in France. The men say it makes no difference, a wedding is announced, and the soldiers face a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. But is everyone being truthful? Read More »

Robert Mulligan – Inside Daisy Clover (1965)

Quote:
“Inside Daisy Clover” is one of those films which divides movie buffs, beloved by some and detested by others. There’s no doubt that it’s an acquired taste, thanks largely to Wood’s bravely quirky, potentially audience-alienating performance in the title role – that of a 1930s teen starlet nurtured and then devoured by Hollywood’s monolithic studio system – one Swan Studios, run by a truly frightening Christopher Plummer (a role played the same year he did “The Sound of Music”). Read More »

Stuart Heisler – The Burning Hills (1956)

Synopsis:
This beautifully-filmed CinemaScope western spins the familiar plot of a greedy cattle baron taking the law into his own hands to monopolize a rich valley before legal claims can be filed on the land. Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood are the headliners here and their chemistry works well. Hunter is okay as a cowboy who wants to square matters for his brother’s murder. However, Ms. Wood is not very convincing as a Mexican girl, in spite of her fetching looks. Predictably, romance blooms, and Hunter and Wood team up to battle the bad guys who trail them like bloodhounds. The action is spotty but a solid cast of familiar character actors nudges the story along. The film has a fine climax, a derring-do affair in the spirit of the old west. The movie was based on a good Louis L’Amour novel and nearly measures up to this great storyteller’s work. Read More »

Irving Rapper – Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie, he is an upper-middle-class New York Jew (born ‘Ehrman’), but has fallen away from his roots, and Marjorie’s parents object among other things to his lack of a suitable profession, such as medicine or law. Noel himself warns Marjorie repeatedly that she’s much too naive and conventional for him, but they nonetheless fall in love. As they pursue an on-again-off-again relationship, Marjorie completes her studies at Hunter College, and works to establish an acting career, while Noel first leaves the theater for a job with an advertising agency, but later completes a musical he’d started writing before he and Marjorie had first met. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Splendor in the Grass [+Extras] (1961)

It’s 1928 in oil rich southeast Kansas. High school seniors Bud Stamper and Deanie Loomis are in love with each other. Bud, the popular football captain, and Deanie, the sensitive soul, are “good” kids who have only gone as far as kissing. Unspoken to each other, they expect to get married to each other one day. But both face pressures within the relationship, Bud who has the urges to go farther despite knowing in his heart that if they do that Deanie will end up with a reputation like his own sister, Ginny Stamper, known as the loose, immoral party girl, and Deanie who will do anything to hold onto Bud regardless of the consequences. Read More »

Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise – West Side Story (1961)

Synopsis:
West Side Story is the award-winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”. The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs- the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff’s best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo’s younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop their love. Maria and Tony begin meeting in secret, planning to run away. Then the Sharks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway – whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what’s happened, tragedy strikes and doesn’t stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending. Read More »