- SKU: 17441877
- Release Date: 02/03/2009
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Helen Gurley Brown's self-help best-seller was the nominal source for this Hollywood sex romp, directed by Richard Quine, co-scripted by Joseph Heller and David R. Schwartz, and starring Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood. Tony Curtis plays Bob Weston, a writer for a scandal magazine who is working on an article on research psychologist Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie Wood) and her best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl. Bob needs to interview Helen, but she refuses to see him. Bob impersonates one of her neighbors, Frank Broderick (Henry Fonda), as a ruse in order to see her on the pretext of marital counseling. After several meetings, Bob attempts to seduce her, but she resists; then he phones her and claims he's about to commit suicide by jumping off a local pier. Horrified, she rushes out to save him, but the two accidentally fall off the pier together and then head back to Helen's apartment to dry out. Bob plies Helen with martinis. Rip-roaring drunk, Helen confesses her love for Bob. He assures her it's fine, since he's not legally married, but Helen doesn't believe him and asks to meet his wife, Sylvia (Lauren Bacall). This leads to an endless series of complications, capped off by a wild chase to the Los Angeles airport. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Karl Malden plays an air force sergeant who is tempted by a better-paying civilian job. Malden's daughter Natalie Wood is in love with a young colonel (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) whom her father regards as an insolent hothead. The younger man proves his worth during jet maneuvers, while Malden decides that he's of more value in the service than as a working stiff. Bombers B-52 has some excellent moments, including a well-staged variation of the obligatory "breaking the news to the pilot's widow" scene. The film earned latter-day notoriety in the 1980s when a prominent movie historian analyzed the script (by Irving Wallace) and found an overabundance of sexual innuendo--including such in-flight dialogue as "She's unable to receive fuel" and "Request jet penetration!" ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
In this routine business-story-cum-romantic-comedy, James Garner is Cash McCall, a wheeling and dealing tycoon, and Natalie Wood is Lory Austen, the daughter of failing businessman Grant (Dean Jagger). McCall's expertise lies in acquiring businesses about to go belly up, attaching them to successful enterprises and then taking a large tax deduction on the resultant equation. Those deals are enhanced when the once-failing business is then sold at a profit. This is a savvy gambit for late '50s movie fare, but its proponent begins to have second thoughts when he comes up against the attractive Lory -- who is not afraid of baring all for a good cause. The well-known co-stars and others like Nina Foch and E.G. Marshall do their best with a limited script. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
This Stephen Sondheim/Jules Styne/Arthur Laurents musical comedy Gypsy had been a Broadway smash with Ethel Merman in the lead. Based on the autobiography of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, it centers on the antics of Mama Rose (here played by Rosalind Russell), the Stage Mother from Hell who prods and pushes her daughters June and Louise into a vaudeville career. Rose pins most of her hopes for fame on older daughter June (billed as "Dainty June"), while little Louise reluctantly goes along for the ride. Karl Malden plays the girls' agent, who falls in love with Rose but is ultimately turned off by her ruthless ambition. When June escapes the act to get married, Rose puts the unwilling Louise in the star spot, but vaudeville is dying and soon the only booking they can get is in a cheap burlesque house. The strippers take Louise under their wing and advise her that "You've gotta have a gimmick" to survive on the bump-and-grind circuit. The nervous Louise rises to stardom as stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, whose "gimmick" is to adopt a self-mocking attitude and to put on pseudo-sophisticated airs. Rose resents Gypsy's rise to the top, but a bravura eight-minute musical soliloquy reveals that Rose had forced her daughters on the stage because she wanted to live out her own dreams of stardom. Louise--aka Gypsy--is played by Diane Pace as a girl and by Natalie Wood as an adult; June (better known as June Havoc) is portrayal by Suzanne Cupito (later billed as Morgan Brittany) as a little girl and Ann Jillian as an adolescent. Most of the best songs, including "Let Me Entertain You," "Small World," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses," remain intact from the original Broadway production. Gypsy was remade for television in 1993, with Bette Midler as Rose. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Inside Daisy Clover
Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood) goes from teenage girl to movie star practically overnight when her demented mother enters her voice in a talent-search contest. From a broken-down carnival on the Santa Monica Pier, in no time at all she is attending glamorous Hollywood parties. But Daisy soon learns that misery and pain go hand-in-hand with fame and fortune. Before Daisy completes her first film, the studio execs have her mother committed to an asylum without permission. Daisy tries to find happiness in a series of unfulfilling romances, her one-day marriage to Wade Lewis (Robert Redford) leaving her alone and divorced. After her mother dies, Daisy has a nervous breakdown and refuses to work, but the cold-hearted studio moguls threaten her with starvation if she does not report back to the soundstage. Christopher Plummer, Ruth Gordon (in an Oscar-nominated performance) and Roddy McDowell co-star in this story of a Hollywood dream that turns into a nightmare. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
Splendor in the Grass
1961's premiere "date" movie represented the screen debut of Warren Beatty. Set in the 1920s, William Inge's screenplay concerns the superheated romance between working-class high schooler Natalie Wood and rich kid Beatty. Trying their best to keep their relationship from going "all the way," Beatty and Wood go through a series of unsatisfying interim romances. The troubled Wood attempts suicide and is sent to a mental institution, while Beatty impregnates freewheeling waitress Zohra Lampert. Wood and Beatty still carry a torch for one another, but circumstances preclude their getting together -- and besides, Wood suddenly realizes that she's outgrown the still-floundering Beatty. Scriptwriter William Inge shows up as a minister in Splendor in the Grass, while comedienne Phyllis Diller does a cameo as famed nightclub entertainer Texas Guinan; also, keep an eye out for Sandy Dennis, making her first movie appearance. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi