FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Margot Gerber

323.461.2020, ext. 115

August 16, 1999

AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS

THE FIRST MAJOR U.S. RETROSPECTIVE OF THE FILMS OF LEGENDARY HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS NATALIE WOOD

 

With special guests George Chakiris (WEST SIDE STORY) and

Author/screenwriter Gavin Lambert (INSIDE DAISY CLOVER)

Featuring classics like REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, WEST SIDE STORY, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET and SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL, along with an ultra-rare 35mm print

of LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER plus a brand new 35 mm print of KINGS GO FORTH

September 2 - 12, 1999

 

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, presents AN AMERICAN GIRL: THE SAD-EYED SPLENDOR OF NATALIE WOOD (September 2-12, 1999), the first major U.S. retrospective of the films of this legendary Hollywood actress. Highlights include Natalie Wood classics such as REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE with James Dean; SPLENDOR IN GRASS with Warren Beatty; WEST SIDE STORY featuring an in-person appearance by co-star George Chakiris; SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL with Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET starring 9-year-old Wood as a disbeliever in department store Santa Clauses. The series also features an in-person appearance by author/screenwriter Gavin Lambert at the INSIDE DAISY CLOVER SCREENING and an ultra-rare screening of a 35mm print of LOVE WITH A PROPER STRANGER, plus a brand new 35 mm print of KINGS GO FORTH. She was born in San Francisco, but raised in Hollywood -- discovered at age 5 by director Irving Pichel for HAPPY LAND, and relentlessly groomed by her stage mother Maria for child stardom. Natalie Wood became one of the few young stars to mature into an even greater talent as an adult. Wood’s hard-earned work as an actress was long, and often cruelly underrated by critics who mistook her natural, almost effortless beauty and yearning grace for inexperience. Her colleagues felt diff-

 

All screenings are at the newly renovated Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.

 

American Cinematheque, 1800 North Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028

(tel) 323.466-FILM  (fax) 323.461.9737 & On the web: http:/www.egyptiantheatre.com

 

 

 

erently. WEST SIDE STORY choreographer/director Jerome Robbins marveled that "she has an enormously sensitive face -- everything reflects in it immediately," while former co-star Orson Welles said, "She was so good, she was terrifying." Her death in 1981 robbed American cinema of one of its brightest and most individual talents. Natalie Wood herself once commented, "I don’t know if I wanted to be a star. I just wanted to be great."

 

Thursday, September 2, 1999

The Thursday, September 2nd program begins at 8:00 PM with SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (1961, Warner Bros., 124 min.). Wood won her second Oscar nomination (of three) as Best Actress, in director Elia Kazan’s heart-wrenching portrait of 1920’s America. Her performance as an anguished teenager desperately in love with high-school beau Warren Beatty, and her tormented cries of "I’m a good girl, mama," come from some haunted place few actresses ever reach. "She worked like she was saving her life." -- Elia Kazan, on SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS.

 

Friday, September 3, 1999

 

The Friday, September 3rd program begins at 7:00 PM with REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955, Warner Bros., 111 min.). Director Nicholas Ray’s awesome, mythic story of teen disobedience in 50’s America, made Wood and co-stars James Dean and Sal Mineo instant cultural icons. "I had a big crush on James Dean ... I remember going with my schoolgirl friends to see EAST OF EDEN like 15 times!" - Natalie Wood.

 

Following at 9:45 PM, is a screening of an Ultra-rare 35mm print of LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER, (1963, Paramount, 100 min.), directed by Robert Mulligan. This tender black-and-white drama depicts working class Wood and her musician boyfriend Steve McQueen coming to grips with her unexpected pregnancy - and their own hesitant first steps towards love and understanding. Wonderfully written by Arnold Schulman and photographed by Milton Krasner, both of whom were nominated for Academy Awards (along with Wood) for their work.

Saturday, September 4, 1999

The Saturday, September 4th program begins at 3:00 PM, with A CRY IN THE NIGHT (1956, Warner Bros., 75 min.), a rarely seen (and surprisingly shocking) little noir helmed by THIS GUN FOR HIRE director, Frank Tuttle. Wood stars as a budding young teen, whose disagreements with her policeman father Edmond O’Brien are interrupted when she’s kidnapped by sex-fiend Raymond Burr. Following at 5:00 PM is THE GREAT RACE, (1965, Warner Bros., 150 min.), directed by Blake Edwards. Villainous Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), is trying to stop white-suited Tony Curtis and feisty reporter Wood, from winning a Paris-to-New York car race in 1908. The Glorious Technicolor frolics, are accompanied by a charming, lighthearted score by Henry Mancini. Following at 8:30 PM is GYPSY (1962, Warner Bros., 149 min.), from director Mervyn Le Roy. Wood literally lights up the screen as stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, in this splendid Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical. The showstopping Rosalind Russell stars as Wood’s domineering stage mother, with Karl Malden as Russell’s long-suffering boyfriend.

Sunday, September 5, 1999

The Sunday, September 5th program begins at 4:00 PM with a Special Double-Feature, which starts with a screening of a restored 35mm print of ALL THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS, (1960, MGM/Warner Classics, 112 min.). When small-town beauty Wood, finds herself pregnant by preacher’s son Robert Wagner, she runs off with cool, cruel, rich-boy George Hamilton, while Wagner makes a name for himself as (you guessed it) a jazz trumpeter in New York! This over-the-top, thoroughly entertaining melodrama from director Michael Anderson, was the only feature film Wood and then-husband Robert Wagner made together. The story is supposedly based on the life of jazz great Chet Baker and co-stars Susan Kohner and Pearl Bailey. Next on the same bill, is a screening of a brand-new 35mm print of KINGS GO FORTH (1958, MGM/UA, 109 min.), a rarely screened drama about racial tensions in WW II Europe. Wood stars as a half-black, all-French girl torn between American soldiers Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis. Directed by Western expert, Delmer Daves (3:10 TO YUMA), in an unusual change of pace,

Friday, September 10, 1999

The Friday, September 10th program begins at 8:00 PM with WEST SIDE STORY, (1961, MGM/UA, 151 min.), the ultra-classic Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins musical, with Wood as the lovely Puerto Rican Maria, surrounded by swirling, switchblade-carrying gangs led by Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and more. A very capable singer, Wood, who had insisted on doing her own numbers, walked off the set when she found out she was being overdubbed by THE KING & I’s Marni Nixon. Discussion following with actor George Chakiris.

Saturday, September 11, 1999

The Saturday, September 11th program begins at 6:00 PM with a screening of SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964, Warner Bros., 114 min.). Smiling sleazoid Tony Curtis, is determined to get the dirt on successful author (and professional virgin) Natalie Wood, so he poses as henpecked father Henry Fonda, giving us cheerful, non-stop vulgarity, in the best GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN meets Frank Tashlin style. Hilariously oversexed, Playboy magazine/Pop Art silliness set to the music of ultra-swinging Neil Hefti. Following at 9:00 PM is INSIDE DAISY CLOVER, (1965, Warner Bros., 128 min.), director Robert Mulligan's much-underrated, hugely-satisfying portrait of 1930’s Hollywood. Wood stars as the almost-autobiographical "Daisy Clover," child star/sexpot, negotiator of the twisted lies and broken hearts of showbiz. Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Ruth Gordon and Roddy McDowall co-star, but it is Wood’s radiant, rebellious, thoroughly winning performance that propels DAISY CLOVER. Discussion following with novelist/screenwriter Gavin Lambert.

Sunday September 12, 1999

 

The Sunday September 12th program begins at 3:00 PM with a screening of the Christmas classic MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947, 20th Century Fox/Criterion 96 min.). The nine-year old Wood stars in her most famous childhood role as the unbelieving little girl who refuses to accept that department store Santa Edmund Gwenn is the real article. Co-starring Maureen O’Hara and John Payne. Following at 5:00 PM is a Special Double Feature, starting with THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1966, Paramount, 110 min.) which is based on a short story by Tennessee Williams. Wood gives one of her finest performances as a hopelessly vulnerable Southern girl, seduced by stranger, Robert Redford, in this brooding, gothic drama directed by Sydney Pollack. Beautiful, atmospheric camerawork by legendary d.p. James Wong Howe. A young Francis Ford Coppola is credited as co-screenwriter! Next on the same bill, is BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, (1969, Columbia, 104 min.), a groundbreaking, hilarious and still-pointed satire of sexual hang-ups in America, from director Paul Mazursky. "We came here for an orgy, didn’t we?" says repressed housewife Dyan Cannon, just before she joins Wood and husbands Eliott Gould and Robert Culp in some classic late 60’s wife-swapping, hot-tubbing action.

A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.

BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS AND PRESS NOTES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

WE DO NOT HAVE GUARANTEED PRESS PASSES TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

 

 

REQUESTS FOR PRESS TICKETS TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS MUST BE IN WRITING AND SHOULD BE FAXED TO 323.461.9737 ATTN: MARGOT GERBER, 24 HOURS PRIOR TO SHOW TIME.

 

ADVANCE THEATRICAL PRESS SCREENINGS ARE NOT SCHEDULED FOR THIS SERIES. MOST FILMS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON VIDEOTAPE (NTSC) AT THE OFFICES OF THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE (CALL 323.461-2020 ext. 115 or 116 TO SCHEDULE SCREENINGS) OR AT LOCAL VIDEO STORES LISTED BELOW. CALL US TO FIND OUT WHICH STORES HAVE WHICH TAPES.

 

 

Tapes Available at the Cinematheque office:

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS

 

*The following stores have copies of most titles in the series.

Jerry’s Video (1904 Hillhurst, Los Feliz - 323.666.7471)

Rocket Video (726 N. La Brea - 323.965.1100)

Cinefile (11280 Santa Monica Blvd. - Near Sepulveda Ave. - 310.312.8836)

Vidiots (302 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica - 310/392-8508)

 

 

THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

Upcoming at the American Cinematheque:

Death: A Love Story (LA Premiere of new independent feature) - Sept. 7

The Films of Russ Meyer – Sept. 16 - 25

Temporary Girl (LA Premiere of new independent feature) - Sept. 23

70 MM Festival – I.B. Technicolor Festival – Billy Wilder Retrospective – Women in Shorts

– New Hollywood of the 60’s & 70’s