Natalie Wood, had a long Hollywood career. Her versatility served her well, maybe because she began performing in movies by the age of four and was a successful child actor in films such as, Miracle on 34th Street (1947).
She also gave a wonderful performance in, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
She then starred in the musicals: West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962).
She also received Academy Award nominations for her performances in the films, Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger(1963). A Romantic/comedy/ drama. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Cast: Natalie Wood, Steve McQueen, Edie Adams, Herschel Bernardi and Harvey Lembeck. The film is also the screen debut of Tom Bosley. The film's title song, written by Elmer Bernstein and Johnny Mercer, was recorded by Jack Jones.
The film begins, when Angie Rossini a Italian-American girl, finds herself pregnant after a "one night stand". The father is a musician named, Rocky Papasano and when she finds him, he does not remember her. All she wants from him is to give her enough money to help pay for an abortion.
Rocky comes up with the money for the abortion, but.. it turns out the abortionist is not a doctor. Rocky, refuses to let her go through with the abortion. He seems to really care about her and his concern brings them closer together. After meeting her brothers, Rocky says that he is ready to "take his medicine" by marrying her. Angie feelings are hurt and refuses, Angie wants a love relationship, with "bells and banjos."
Angie decides that it is best to move out on her own and begins to date her friend, Anthony. Rocky and Angie, cant seem to forget each other and Angie, invites him to dinner, where he makes advances towards her.
Angie says she doesn't want to make the same mistake and throws him out. The next day, Rocky waits for her outside Macy's, where she works, ringing bells and playing a banjo. Will he win her over?
I find it amazing that Natalie was just 25 years old at the time and to this day remains the youngest person to ever receive 3 Academy Award nominations. Love with the Proper Stranger, is a wonderful movie and before you know it you find yourself really hoping that they will get together. Wood's performance shows the most vulnerable side of this character. You may think, this film sounds like it is a great"chick flick", but... the story is has some wonderful comedic scenes that may appeal to the guys, too.
Please click here to read Natalie Wood's past reviews.