Saturday, November 16, 2013

TV MOVIES TO: NATALIE WOOD


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ALICE´S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (1948)
starring: Natalie Wood, Norman Kraft

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PLAYMATES (1952)

starring: Alan Napier, Natalie Wood, Moyna MacGill, Nelson Welch, Linda Green
Directed by Richard Irving
 


This relic from the early days of US Television, an anthology episode apparently shot on film but with the meager production values of live TV, has some ambition in its blanded down "Turn of the Screw" concept and the performance from young Natalie Wood at her most vulnerable-appealing. She is being home schooled in the isolated house by uncle Napier, when the visit of local vicar Welch reveals the house's sinister secrets - aha!  There is an attempts at style in the opening mobile camera, non verbal material - which misleadingly suggests that Natalie is mute. Hard to imagine the later accomplished Fredricks contributing these drab images.
 


PLAYMATES (IN YOUTUBE)
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QUITE A VIKING (1952)

Natalie Wood, Dean Jagger, Ann Harding





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THE PRIDE OF THE FAMILY (1953-1955)

Paul Hartman as Albie Morrison
 Fay Wray as Catherine Morrison
 Natalie Wood as Ann Morrison
 Bobby Hyatt as Junior Morrison
Directed by Bob Finkel
 


Hartman portrays Albie Morrison, the father and error-prone head of the household, about whom most of the episodes are centered. Albie works in the advertising section of his local newspaper, and he often has new ideas that go awry in the workplace as well as failed handyman activities at home.  Wray, remembered in particularly from her role in the horror film King Kong, plays Albie's wife, Catherine. Natalie Wood is the 15-year-old daughter, Ann, and "Bobby" Hyatt (1939–2007) is the 14-year-old son, Junior Morrison. Larry J. Blake appeared fourteen times in the role of "Frank". Billboard described Hartman's lead role as "average"; indeed the series attempted to present the "average family." Guest stars included Tol Avery, Barbara Billingsley, Douglas Fowley, Frank Ferguson (five times as Murdock), Lyle Talbot, Steven Terrell (five times as Tom), and Joey D. Vieira (six episodes as Hollis).
 
 

THE PRIDE OF THE FAMILY (IN YOUTUBE)
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I´M A FOOL (1954)
starring James Dean ....... the Boy  Natalie Wood ..... Lucy  Roy Glenn ........ Burt  Eve March ........ Mother  Leon Tyler ....... Wilbur  Gloria Castillo .. Elinor   Fiona Hale ....... Mildred  Directed by Don Medford
 

 
In this short drama, James Dean takes on Sherwood Anderson's restless Ohio youth. Writer Anderson's "I'm a Fool" originally appeared in his collection "Horses and Men"; and, the author is known to have influenced John Steinbeck, who authored of "East of Eden". Mr. Dean completed the film version of writer Steinbeck's "Eden" over the summer (it was not yet released). Natalie Wood appears in this "Fool", cast as the young woman Dean falls in love with. Ms. Wood would soon start filming "Rebel Without a Cause"; so, this is almost a "try-out" for "Rebel". In a completely unrelated event, "Fool" was re-made for PBS, in 1976, with Ron Howard and Amy Irving; although, Ms. Irving appeared almost simultaneously in William Bast's biography "James Dean".
 
In "I'm a Fool", Dean plays "The Boy" aka "Walter Mathers" alongside Eddie Albert's on-screen narration of the same character. It's an interesting, but not altogether successful, juxtaposition. Although each performs well, Dean and Albert do not truly seem like the same character. The play is also "impressionistic" in technique; for example, you will see characters walking around partial and painted sets. This does, at times, distract from the story, which concerns the consequences of Dean's lying to impress Wood's "Lucy Wessen". Wood performs exceptionally well with Dean, and they look great together; this was not a commonly found feature with Dean's female TV co-stars. Wood was wisely signed to appear with Dean on the big screen.
 
Though rendered slightly inaccessible in its state and style, the story is a good one. Albert and Dean convey the tragedy of foolishness. Roy Glenn (as Burt) is terrific in his supporting role. When this teleplay was repeated, on November 18, 1956, then host Ronald Reagan appeared in a new introduction, which included him saying "those of us who worked with Jimmy Dean." It seems like a foolish enough claim to include in the script; but, Mr. Reagan did co-star with Dean, in another television drama. 
 
 
 


I´M A FOOL (IN YOUTUBE)
 
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RETURN OF THE DEAD (1954)
 
starrings: Natalie Wood, Reed Hadley, Robert Bice, James Flavin, Steven Geray, Gladys Holland
Directed by: Erie Kanton
 
 
A teenager is accused of attempted murder and explains her story about her mother's delima when her father returns from the dead.
 

     


RETURN OF THE DEAD (IN YOUTUBE)
 
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THE PLOT AGAINST MISS POMEROY (1954)

starring  Jean Byron ....... Eunice Pomeroy  Natalie Wood .......Sheila Mason  Eleanor Audley ....... Miss Hunt  Gay Lynn ....... Norma  Morris Ankrum ....... Mr. Mason  Pauline Moore ..... Mrs. Boche

 
 
A timid teacher at an exclusive girls' finishing school is asked to do a special favor for a rich pupil. The pupil shows her gratitude by planning a practical joke-the butt, the teacher.
 
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THE RELUCTANT REDEEMER (1954)
 
Written by Helene Hanff  starring:  John Barrymore Jr. ... Moses  Natalie Wood ... Sephora  and: Karen Sharpe, Douglas Dumbrille, Gertrude Michael
 

 
The story tells of Moses' upbringing by an Egyptian pharaoh, his killing of a cruel overseer and the flight to Media where he marries. When the voice of God comes from the burning bush he returns to Egypt to free his people. Natalie Wood will be featured as the beloved ot Moses when he was a young man. [RF]
*NOTE: Title also listed as "The Story of Moses".
 
Moses is brought up as a grandson of an Egyptian pharaoh and finally learns that he is adopted and a Jew. After accidentally killing a cruel overseer who has been torturing Jewish slaves, Moses flees to Media, where he marries, has two sons and settles down to a happy rural life. When the voice of God speaks to him from the burning bush, he has a long struggle with his conscience but returns to Egypt to free his people.
 
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MAYOR OF THE TOWN (1954)
 
starring:
Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Thomas Russell  Natalie Wood as Mayor's niece
  Katheleen Freeman as Marilly, housekeeper  David Saber as Butch, Ward  Jean Byron as Minnie  Tudor Owen as Joe Ainsley  Directed by John Rawlins
 
 
 
Events in the life of Thomas Russell, Mayor of Springdale - a small American town.
 
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HEIDI (1955)
 
 cast:  Jeannie Carson ........ Heidi  Natalie Wood .......... Klara Sesseman  Wally Cox ............. Peter  Elsa Lanchester ....... Fraulein Rottenmeier  Jo Van Fleet .......... Aunt Dete  Richard Eastham ....... Grandfather  Robert Clary .......... Eric Highlights
  Directed by Max Liebman
 
 
Eight-year-old Heidi is orphaned and her selfish maternal Aunt Dete takes her to the mountains to live with Adolph Kramer, her grumpy, old, outcast, survivalist paternal grandfather. Heidi brings her grandfather back into mountain society through her angelic ways, sheer love, and adorable personality. When Aunt Dete steals Heidi away to be the companion of a rich man's invalid daughter, the grandfather is enraged and sets out to get her back. Back in Frankfurt, loved and adored by everyone she touches except the villainous housekeeper, Fraulein Rottenmeier, she thrives but is inwardly very sad and lonely. No matter what anyone tells her, Heidi, with faith, hope, and the stubbornness she inherited from her grandfather, knows that some day she will be reunited with the him and the beloved people of the mountain's little village.




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THE WILD BUNCH (1955)
 
Starring  Charles Boyer ...... George  Noreen Nash ........ Leonora  Natalie Wood ....... Louise  Gigi Perreau ....... Carlotta  B.G. Norman ........ David  Tommy Cook ......... Johnny  William Walker ..... Uncle Sim  Willa Pearl Curtis.. Aunt Cassie  Barbara Stuart ..... Hostess  Directed by William A. Seiter  Producer Charles Boyer
 
 
This is an episode of "Four Star Playhouse"--a 1950s anthology series that used four famous actors as alternating leads in each show. This particular one stars Charles Boyer--a wonderful actor who seemed a bit out of place in this very rushed show.
The story begins with Boyer having just married a woman. Only then does she reveal that she has children. Now, if you think about it, this makes little sense--how could a man actually marry a lady and not know she has three grown children?! Regardless, the idea, while strained, was workable IF the show hadn't been so rushed and the ending so contrived. You see, the kids are all horrible brats and it appears as if will take months or years to get them under control. However, the clever Boyer, through the use of discipline and understanding, is able to win them over with rapidity that would shock Mary Poppins! Now if this had not been a half hour show and stretched out to a longer format, it might have worked. Instead, it's entertaining but very, very slight. A good idea but the execution left a bit to be desired.
 


THE WILD BUNCH (IN YOUTUBE)

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FEATHERTOP (1955)

starring  Natalie Wood ....... Polly Gookin  Carleton Carpenter .......Feathertop  Irene Tedrow, Dick Elliot, Emory Parnell, John Carlyle  Directed by Don Medford
 
 

In seventeenth century New England, the witch Mother Rigby builds a scarecrow to protect her garden. She is so taken with her own handiwork that she whimsically decides to bring the scarecrow to life and send it into town to woo Polly Gookin, the daughter of Judge Gookin, with whom Mother Rigby had unspecified prior dealings. Once the stuffed man does come alive, Mother Rigby gives him the appearance of a normal human being - and a pipe, on which the scarecrow must puff to keep himself alive.

Judge Gookin meets the scarecrow, whom Mother Rigby has named Feathertop. Feathertop is introduced to Polly, and the two begin to fall in love. But when Polly and Feathertop gaze into a bewitched mirror, they see Feathertop reflected as a scarecrow, not as a man. Polly faints, and the now-terrified and anguished scarecrow rushes back to Mother Rigby, where, knowing himself for what he really is, he deliberately throws away his pipe and collapses in a lifeless heap. Mother Rigby reflects, "There are thousands upon thousands of coxcombs and charlatans in the world, made up of just such a jumble of wornout, forgotten, and good-for-nothing trash as he was! Yet they live in fair repute, and never see themselves for what they are," and decides that her "son" is better off as merely a scarecrow.
 
  


FEATHERTOP (IN YOUTUBE)
 
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MIRACLE AT POTTER'S FARM (1955)

starring  Natalie Wood   ........... Jen Potter  Luke Halpin  ........... Brucie  Frank McHugh  ........... Horace Potter  And: ...........Betty Furness  Directed by Franklin Schaffner
 



Dramatic anthology series which ran on CBS for ten years from 1948 until 1958. The episodes were often abridged remakes of movies from years gone by and many future well-known television and movie actors appeared in the productions.

Brucie and his big sister, Jen, are two of five children who face separation and removal from the family farm after their father's death.

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TOO OLD FOR DOLLS (1955)

starring  Laraine Day ....... Marge Ramsay  Franchot Tone ....... Mike Ramsay  Natalie Wood ....... Polly  Tommy Cook ...... Ed  Joyce Coates ....... Betty Mae Clark  Directed by Fred F. Sears
 

 Parents are concerned that their teen-aged daughter doesn't have a date for her school's formal dance. She assures them she has a boy named Al all lined up. Recalling that "Al" was the name of her imaginary childhood friend, Dad arranges for one of the boys from the office to escort her. It turns out that Al really does exist.



TOO OLD FOR DOLLS (IN YOUTUBE)

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WEDDING GIFT (1955)

starring
 Natalie Wood, Jack Kelly, Gig Young, Nan Leslie, Robert  Horton

 
As a young man steps out of the military and into civilian life, he becomes bitter with his overbearing wife who has already charted out his entire life, without any input from him.
 
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LITTLE MISS BEDFORD (1956)

starring: Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Natalie Wood


 
A couple fall in love during a long sea voyage.
 
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CARNIVAL (1956)

Guest cast: Natalie Wood ......... Renee Gyllinson  Dennis Hopper ........ Tod Monaghan  Sydney Chaplin ....... Tiger Hudson  Maggie Mahoney ....... Louise Thornton  Claire Kelly ......... Little Egypt
  Directed by George Roy Hills

 
 
A young woman learns that her father is a thief.
Complications ensue when a fast-talking carnival barker falls in love with a socialite.
The barker's former sweetheart, a carnival dancer, is not favorably impressed.
 
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THE DEADLY RIDDLE (1956)
 
starrings
Jacques Sernas, Natalie Wood, Mary Ellen Kay, Torin Thatcher, Geoffrey Toone
 Directed by Don Weis
 







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GIRL ON THE SUBWAY (1957)

starring
Natalie Wood, James Garner, Charles Ruggles, Joseph Kearns, Murray Hamilton
Directed by John Rich
 

THE DEADLY RIDDLE (IN YOUTUBE)



 
 
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"THE BOB HOPE SHOW"  (1959)

  
 
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THE FIRST AMERICAN TEENAGER (1976)

starrings: Natalie Wood, Jayne Mansfield, Dennis Hopper, Clint Walker, Rock Hudson
 
 
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I´M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF(1975)
 
starrings:
Natalie Wood, John Houseman, François Truffaut, Nicholas Ray, Tom Farrell
 
 
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THE AFFAIR (1973)
 
starring
Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Bruce Davison, Jamie Smith-Jackson, Pat Harrington Jr., Paul Ryan  Directed by Gilbert Cates
 
 

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CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1976)
 
starrings
 
Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Laurence Olivier, Maureen Staplenton, Jack Hedley, Mary Peach  Directed by Robert Moore, Produced by Laurence Olivier
 
 
 

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (IN YOUTUBE)
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FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1979)
 
Starrings
Natalie Wood, William Devane, Steve Railsback, Kim Basinger, Joe Pantoliano, Roy Thinnes, Peter Boyle, Andy Griffith, Will Sampson, Salomé Jens, Richard Venture  Directed by Buzz Kulik
 
 

 

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THE CRACKER FACTORY (1979)
 
Starrings
Natalie Wood, Perry King, Peter Haskell, Juliet Mills, Vivian Blaine, Shelley Long  Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff
 
 
 

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THE HERMITAGE (1980)
 
starrings:
Natalie Wood and Peter Ustinov
 
 
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THE MEMORY OF EVA RYKER (1980)

Starrings
Natalie Wood, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Foxworth, Roddy McDowall, Bradford Dillman, Jean Pierre Aumont, Peter Graves, Mel Ferrer, Morgan Fairchild  Directed by Walter Grauman
 
 


MY WEB PAGE TO NATALIE WOOD


 



 



 



 


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