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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon October 30, 2008
Even though this is called a Signature Collection, the artwork I have seen doesn't indicate the same classic style that is present on the other Warner signature collections. The last one to be released was the Burt Lancaster Signature collection late in 2007. This set shall contain six films.

SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (1961) - Directed by Elia Kazan stars Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty as young lovers during the 1920's who can't be together due to society's external pressures and the internal pressures of the girl's fragile mental state.

SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964)Directed by Richard Quine. Natalie Wood stars as Helen Gurley Brown. A writer at a tabloid magazine (Tony Curtis) wants to interview Miss Brown, but the only way he can do so is to masquerade as a patient.

INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (1965) Directed by Robert Mulligan. Set in the 1930's Daisy is a teenager who becomes a star against the odds. She has to find a way to deal with her newfound fame. Christopher Plummer plays the studio executive that controls Daisy's every move.

GYPSY (Deluxe Edition) (1962) Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Story of the burlesque queen includes a great performance by Rosalind Russell as her stage mother and Karl Malden as the agent/family friend. Gypsy is not the center of attention of the act or of the family until her sister - the real star up to that point - elopes at the ripe old age of 13. That younger sister is played by Ann Jillian.

BOMBERS B-52 (1957) - Directed by Gordon Douglas. Stars Karl Malden as Master Sergeant Chuck V. Brennan who has a strong dislike for hot-shot Colonel Jim Herlihy, the commanding officer of the 329th Bomber Squadron. When Herlihy takes a liking to Brennan's daughter (Natalie Wood) the dislike grows even more. Usually these kind of films have the enlisted man liking the officer's daughter. This reverses things a bit.

CASH MCCALL (1960)directed by Joseph Pevney. James Garner plays the title character - an entepreneur who has already had an affair with Natalie Wood's character. When they meet again it is when McCall is trying to buy her father's company.

Brainstorm, Natalie Wood's final film, shall be released separately. There is no word on extra features yet.
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VINE VOICEon February 25, 2009
I wish these had been released as separate DVDs, but the most important thing is that this is the first time many of these films have been released on video in their original aspect ratios!

Since Amazon's listing can only handle one aspect ratio, the films are presented as follows, and all are anamorphic presentations:

Bombers B-52 - 2:35:1
Cash McCall - 1.85:1
Splendor in the Grass - 1.85:1
Gypsy - 2.35:1
Sex and the Single Girl - 1.85:1
Inside Daisy Clover - 2.35:1

Note that this is the first time Cash McCall has been seen in its original aspect ratio since its theatrical release; even Turner Classic Movies only has a pan & scan 1.33:1 copy.
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VINE VOICEon March 12, 2009
Natalie Wood definitely deserves a tribute. This DVD box set, comprised of movies she made for Warner Brothers studio, is definitely a mixed bag. No one will argue that "Bombers B-52" or "Cash McCall" are especially memorable, or among Natalie's best work. That leaves us with two classics ("Splendor In The Grass" and "Gypsy"), one silly farce ("Sex And The Single Girl") and one oddity that is interesting and worthwhile ("Inside Daisy Clover").
"Splendor In The Grass" (1961) is easily the best film in this box set, and probably the quintessential Natalie Wood film. Deanie and Bud (Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty) are in love, but her mother (Audrey Christie) tells her that "nice girls don't enjoy sex." Deanie is confused, especially with the example of Bud's promiscuous and free-spirited sister Jenny (Barbara Loden) before her. Bud wants to stay on the family farm and marry Deanie, but his overbearing father (Pat Hingle) wants him to go to Harvard. Deanie's sexual repression leads to a dangerous suicide attempt at a waterfall (Natalie did the frightening swimming scene herself) and mental breakdown. Natalie, who received an Oscar nomination, is an appealing mixture of poignancy and strength, and Warren Beatty is quite impressive in his film debut. "Splendor" holds up extremely well. If you don't believe me, just watch the terrible TV remake from the 1980's with Melissa Gilbert, mis-cast and totally out of her depth, in Natalie's role. The original, with Natalie, is a classic. (5 Stars). 1961 was an excellent year, professionally, for Natalie. Following "Splendor," she gave another beautiful performance, as Maria in the Oscar winning smash mega-hit "West Side Story."

"Gypsy" (1962): After having her vocals dubbed by Marni Nixon in "West Side Story", Natalie's singing is all her own in this film version of the Broadway classic. Natalie is perfect as Louise Hovac, whether as a tomboy, dressed in baggy clothes with a page-boy haircut, or later, all woman, sexily stripping off as sophisticated Gypsy Rose Lee. Rosalind Russell is just fine (with vocal help from Lisa Kirk) as her ambitious, driven, and delusional, Mama Rose. I certainly did not miss the hideous Broadway hag known as Ethel Merman. (4 Stars out of 5).

"Sex And The Single Girl" (1964) Tony Curtis, working for a smutty tabloid magazine, is determined to prove that Natalie Wood, as "sexpert" Dr. Helen Brown, is actually (Gasp!) a virgin! Whether she is or not is never anwered.
This ridiculous sex farce soon runs out of steam and becomes a slapstick farce, with a wildly prolonged car chase on the freeway. (3 Stars Out of 5).

"Inside Daisy Clover" (1965) By age 26, Natalie Wood is too adult to be entirely convincing as a 15 year old "child singing star", but she does have the Hollywood credentials. The page boy haircut that worked so well in "Gypsy" does not work so well for "Daisy Clover." Daisy is supposed to be a singing sensation, in the mode of a teenage Judy Garland. Natalie's vocals are dubbed by another lady again. Marni Nixon's dubbing for Natalie in "West Side Story" was well-done. The dubbing for Natalie in "Daisy" (not Marni Nixon) is bad...well, honestly, awful!
Everything else about the film seems a bit off, too. Gavin Lambert's script veers wildly between macabre black comedy, satire, and melodrama. The best performances are given by Robert Redford as Wade Lewis, the "closeted" gay matinee idol who encourages Daisy's rebellious nature, marries her, and promptly abandons her; and an especially effective and creepy Christopher Plummer as "Prince Of Darkness" movie mogul Raymond Swan. In Natalie's best scene, she has an altogether too convincing and frightening nervous breakdown inside a recording booth. The overall film is uneven, but worthwhile and interesting, nevertheless.
(3 Stars Out of 5).
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VINE VOICEon February 1, 2009
A generation of moviegoers identify Natalie Wood with Maria, the character she portrayed in the Academy Award-winning "West Side Story" (1961). Her film career dates back to the 1940's, when she appeared as a child star in several films, the most famous, "The Miracle on 34th Street" (1947), when she was only nine.

"The Natalie Wood Collection" continues the admirable policy by Warner Home Video of assembling movies featuring popular stars into box sets. The six feature films in this new collection are a mixed bag. "Bombers B-52" (1957) is a routine love story costarring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., as Wood's love interest and Karl Malden as her career military father who objects to their romance. Unfortunately, Wood is overshadowed here by CinemaScope photography of jet planes doing intricate aerial maneuvers.

"Cash McCall" (1960), heavy on soap opera, costars James Garner in the title role of a business tycoon who thrives on buying and selling companies for profit. McCall's acquisition plan for Grant Austen's (Dean Jagger) company is complicated when he learns that Austen's daughter (Wood) is the same girl with whom he once had a summer romance.

"Sex and the Single Girl" (1964) pairs Wood with Tony Curtis in a romantic comedy with supporting roles by Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall.
Two show business films, "Gypsy" (1962) and "Inside Daisy Clover" (1965), go behind the scenes of vaudeville and motion pictures, respectively. In both, Wood starts out as an average girl who, because of looks and drive, blossoms into a star while learning that stardom has its dark downside.

The best film in the set is "Splendor in the Grass" (1961). Written by William Inge ("Picnic") and directed by Elia Kazan ("A Streetcar Named Desire," "On the Waterfront"), it marked the screen debut of Warren Beatty. He and Wood portray teenage lovers filled with lust who are ripped apart by the repressive small-town mentality of 1920's Kansas. The chemistry between the two leads is excellent, and Wood turns in one of her best performances in a Romeo-and-Juliet tale where social class forms the barrier. The characters are all well faceted, and the supporting cast exceptional (Pat Hingle, Sandy Dennis, Barbara Loden). No film of the era illustrated better the conflict between sexual desire and repression. Its theme of rebellion against parental authority would find its way into films increasingly throughout the 1960's.
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on February 21, 2009
many of us wood fans have been waiting for ever for this collection. it has six films as follows:

1--gypsy- this one is already out but it was a great film so i simply sold my old one and kept the new one :) one of her best performances.

2--splendor in the grass - a must have film even if you are not a wood fan, if you liked a streetcar named desire and this proprty is condemend this is a film for you.

3--SEX & THE SINGLE GIRL - this for me was the main reason i wanted the box set. its a comedy staring strong leads and a strong supporting cast. this is one of the most requested films of natalie wich leads to the question "why didnt they release it sooner?"

4--inside daisy clover - this is a great film from the acomplished drama star. robert redford also gives a great performance with wood. the breakdown scene (in sound and in silence) is some of her best work.

5&6--cash mccall/bombers b-52 - these are pretty good films, wood as always is beautiful. these 2 films are good but i would much rather have liked to have "love with the proper strainger" & Penelope" instead.

perhaps if enough people buy this collection it will encourage their release. penelope is another highly requested film of natalie woods, she really was gifted in comedy as in drama. so let hope for more of her work to be released :)
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on February 3, 2009
Who cares if there aren't enough bells and whistles on the DVD's?! Who cares if there isn't a biography DVD in the set? Who cares if Gypsy and Splendor in the Grass were previously issued on DVD? Who cares if some of the quality is not 100%?
Miss Wood's multitude of fans have been waiting FOREVER for this set, or any set of this screen legend's work and I'm sure I'm not alone in stating quite frankly, I AM OVER THE MOON over this box set! Just the box photo and cover art on each DVD make it worth the price!
Natalie Wood; NOW, ALWAYS AND FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on April 14, 2013
She was not the best actress, but she had an unmistakable star quality about her. Something that she was born with. Something that is lacking in many of today's actors. She was someone you wanted to like. This is a great collection of some of her best. She could have made it on her looks alone.
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on May 26, 2009
Nice to have movies of Natalie Wood that they don't
show on t.v. anymore. Sex and the Sinlge Girl is a
very good comedy she did with Tony Curtis who she also
star with in The Great Race. I recommend this collection
to any Natalie Wood fan.
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on March 13, 2012
Loved these movies brought back some good memories, I keep thinking of Inside dasiy Clover and that's the one I wanted but when I saw this selection together it was a no brainer, very good quality .
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on March 22, 2009
Finally three of her movies are out on DVD, Cash McCall, Bombers B-52 and Sex and The Single Girl. All are great in my humble opinion. the others are fine as well.
Chuck B
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