THE SEARCHERS
1956, Warner Bros., 119 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

John Wayne gives the performance of his career as Ethan Edwards, a deeply troubled Civil War veteran who heads off in search of his kidnapped niece (Natalie Wood) and becomes more obsessive and irrational as his journey progresses. Through Wayne's character, Ford explores the contradictions and dark side of the American frontier.


SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
1961, Warner Bros., 124 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Natalie Wood gives her greatest performance as an anguished teenager in love with high school beau Warren Beatty - a boy from her town's most prominent family, in director Elia Kazan’s heart-wrenching portrait of forbidden love in 1920s America. Wood’s tormented cries of "I’m a good girl, mama" come from some haunted place few actresses ever reach - her work here earned Wood her second (of three) Oscar nominations as Best Actress.


GYPSY
1962, Warner Bros., 149 min, Dir: Mervyn Le Roy

Natalie Wood lights up the screen as stripper Gypsy Rose Lee in this splendid Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical. The show-stopping Rosalind Russell stars as Wood’s domineering stage mother, with Karl Malden as Russell’s long-suffering boyfriend.


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