The Five Best Natalie Wood Movies of Her Career

The Five Best Natalie Wood Movies of Her Career

The Five Best Natalie Wood Movies of Her Career

Natalie Wood was a film star who became a Hollywood movie star when she was just 4 years old. She became popular at the age of 8 when she co-starred in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” She went on to become the winner of 3 Academy Awards by the time she was 25. She enjoyed a successful career until her life was cut short when she drowned on November 29, 1981, near Santa Catalina Island, in California. She died under suspicious circumstances but her husband Robert Wagner stated that it was an accident. She is remembered for her significant contributions to the movie industry, and here are the five best films of her career.

1. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

This film starred Natalie in the role of a wife who wants to have a baby, but this creates a maelstrom of problems. Both she and her husband are alcoholics and selfish. There is also a measure of jealousy which made this a dramatic film that drew viewers in from beginning to end. It was set in a Southern environment of Mississippi and it highlights the power struggles within a wealthy and dysfunctional family, with the initial release on December 6, 1976. This film was directed by Robert Moore and produced by Sir Laurence Olivier and Derek Granger. The film was an adaptation of Tennessee Williams literary work. Natalie co-starred with Robert Wagner, Maureen Stapleton, Mary Peach, Jack Headley, and Laurence Olivier.

2. West Side Story

West Side Story was released on October 18, 1961, starring Natalie Wood, George Chakiris and Richard Beyme. The film was directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise and the screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman from the book written by Arthur Laurents. The film was a modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet with the two young protagonists involved in street gangs in a New York setting. It’s a battle for turf, and complications set in with a gang member falls in love with the sister of a rival in this musical. The film won an Academy Award for Best Picture. West Side Story was one of Natalie Wood’s most memorable films, although she didn’t do all of the singing, it was a moving yet tragic romance.

3. Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass starred Natalie wood as Deanie, and Warren Beatty as Bud, her high school sweetheart. Both teens have parents with high expectations for them, which include Bud’s father wanting Bud to attend Yale University and Deanie’s mother fears that her daughter is getting too close to Bud and that a sexual relationship could result in Bud leaving her because of loose morals. Audrey Christie plays the role of Deanie’s mom, and Pat Hingle stars and Bud’s dad, and he fears that pregnancy and marriage could prevent Bud from finishing college. For different reasons, their parents try to discourage the relationship from progressing. This film was first released on October 10, 1961. Natalie received an Academy Award for Best Actress and the film received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and a Golden Globe for Best New Star of the Year for Beatty. The screenplay was written by William Inge and the film was directed by Elia Kazan.

4. Marjorie Morningstar

Marjorie Morningstar Stars Natalie Wood, Gene Kelly, and Martin Balsam. Wood plays the part of a girl in college who comes from a traditional Jewish family. She meets and falls for Noel Airman, played by Kelly who is an entertainer. She also has a passion for acting, and it is preferable to the life that her parents want for her. Their preference is that she settle down and have a family, and Martin Balsom plays the handsome young physician they’ve chosen for her to marry. Marjorie Morganstern isn’t going for it because she has her sights set on a different life, against the wishes of her parents. She changes her surname to Morningstar and pursues her career in acting while Noel has a tough time writing a Broadway musical. Is Marjorie making the wrong choice or will it result in her ultimate happiness? The film is about following your heart instead of your head, and while it sometimes works out for the best, you’re taking a chance that it may not end so well. The film was a tremendous box office success with a first release date of April 24, 1958, and revenues of $3 million generated. The film was directed by Irving Rapper with the screenplay by Everett Freeman and Herman Wouk and music composed by Max Steiner.

5. The Great Race

The Great Race is a sports and action film that had an extra-long running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, but there weren’t any places that viewers could become bored. The film was the story of an exciting race over land that stared in New York and ended in Paris. Tony Curtis c–stars as The Great Leslie, along with Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, Peter Falk is the evil Fate’s partner Max, and Natalie Wood plays the part of Maggie DuBois. The racers are all in competition to get to the finish line first, but they must contend with the likes of Professor Fate and Max, who are out to sabotage them in any way that they can. Leslie and Maggie team up to help each other make it to the finish line. This was an action-packed comedy film that was first released on July 1, 1965. It was directed by Blake Edwards and featured the compositions of Henry Mancini. It won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. While not Wood’s best film, it was certainly up there among the top five, because we got to see a different side of her. She was brilliant, as always.

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