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Entries in Natalie Wood (23)

Tuesday
Nov042014

The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In "The Honoraries" we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients including Maureen O'Hara. Here's Andrew on a holiday favorite...  

A common criticism meted out against Maureen O’Hara is that she’s often in good films but hardly ever the reason the films are great. In this vein, it’s almost wicked that I chose to write on her work in Miracle on 34th Street, in our celebration. Maureen O’Hara is probably not the first image that comes to mind when you think of this immortal Christmas classic. Your mind probably went instantly to holiday charm, Macy’s consumerism, Natalie Wood's lovely child star turn or Edmund Gwenn’s Oscar-winning Kris Kringle performance.

Still, I find Maureen's place in the movie significant.

A little background: before shooting Miracle on 34th Street, O’Hara had recently moved to Ireland and was essentially forced into taking the role of Doris Walker, the mother who encourages her daughter not to believe in Santa Clause. The film was called The Big Heart at the time and she was not enthusiastic about returning to North America to shoot it. However, once she read the script her sentiments changed and she was immediately keen to co-star.  Just what it was about the role that made Maureen so immediately enthusiastic to be a part of the project? [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr132014

1963 Oscar Flashback: Sidney, Cleopatra, Hud

Something is wrong with me. I miss the Oscars already even though I've just barely recovered from the March 2nd related exhaustion. (Nathaniel the Masochist) So the other day I got a little Oscar happy and was looking back at various years, so let's talk the 36th Academy Awards briefly. You in?

They were held exactly 50 years ago today. Tom Jones, just discussed by Andrew, won 1963's Best Picture and three other trophies but the evening is best remembered today for Sidney Poitier's historic win for Lilies of the Field.

Sidney was the first black actor to win in either leading category but it was 38 years before it happened again (with Halle & Denzel on the same night). Now of course it's a fairly regular occurrence in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress... the other two categories not so much. 

Lots more photos and trivia after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb272014

Every Best Actress Dress

Here's one infographic that seems to have been pulled direct from the subconcious collective subconcious of actressexuals everywhere - it's every Best Actress dress ever worn to the ceremony. Obviously that's less than 85 dresses since some people didn't show to their ceremony. [Updates: though there are a couple missing. Vivien Leigh's second Oscar and Norma Shearer's only are not listed. Odd] You can click on it to embiggen.

But I'll share my 10 favorites after the jump, okay? okay. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan162014

Jennifer Lawrence and the Youngest To...

With her nomination for American Hustle this morning, Jennifer Lawrence has become the youngest actor of either gender to receive her third Oscar nomination. She is only 23. Or, if you'd like to get technical about it, 23 years 5 months and 2 days. Whether you think her work in American Hustle is great or terrible (and factions have formed on both sides) or you have a more nuanced perspective on what does and doesn't work about it, there is just no denying her screen dynamism. That's what they use to call "It".  

Here's how the stats break down and which legends Jennifer is toppling. Did the performers with similar records flame out early? Read on...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul202013

The Rebellious Evolution of Natalie Wood

It's Natalie Wood Week as we celebrate what would have been her 75th birthday (today!). Here's Abstew from 'The Film's The Thing'...

I love the tag line: "...And they both came from good families!" Oh, no! Where did we go wrong?!?The legend of James Dean looms large over the seminal 1955 teen-angst film, Rebel Without a Cause. With his red windbreaker that would soon become his trademark, furrowed brow and pensive gaze, his hobby of drag racing goons that would dare to call him chicken, and dealing with square parents that just don't understand, Dean cuts an impressive figure. The film is so closely linked to the star's iconic status that you'll forgive me that sometimes I forget the other talented stars that also occupy the film. (But, then again, I'm a huge James Dean fan. I've even been to his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana where there's not one, but three different museums dedicated to him. You can compete in the annual James Dean look-alike competition! It's also where he's buried. You can still go to his family farm and see his tombstone.) But, of the three films that Dean starred in, Rebel is the only one he didn't receive an Oscar nomination for.

The film was, however, nominated for a trio of awards including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Sal Mineo as his pal, Plato, and a Best Screenplay nomination for the Director, Nicholas Ray. Has any film captured the superb agony of being a teenager so precisely?

I don't know what to do anymore. Except maybe die."

It's final nomination was for Best Supporting Actress, giving Natalie Wood her first bit of Oscar recognition. Hers is not, maybe, the first name that spring to mind when you think of Rebel, but her career owes as much to it as Dean's does...

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Friday
Jul192013

Faulty "Wedding Bells" Gossip

Are you enjoying Natalie Wood Week here at the blog?

Celebrity gossip magazines are not as psychic as they'd like to be...

They were wayyyy off on their suggestive headline here. It would take Warren Beatty another 31 years and at least 300 more women to settle down. And despite the rude headline, Beatty had nothing that Robert Wagner didn't have when it came to Natalie's heart... at least not permanently.

Though it's true he did take over in the year of Natalie's superstar ascendance. RJ and Natalie had separated in 1961 (the year Splendor & The Grass and West Side Story both hit) but they didn't divorce till the same month as the Oscars in 1962 when this was going on...

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