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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Musical > Natalie Wood Collection (Warner DVD/Bombers B-52/Cash McCall/Splendor in the Grass/Gypsy/Sex & The Single Girl/Inside Daisy Clover)

Natalie Wood Collection (Warner DVD/Bombers B-52/Cash McCall/Splendor in the Grass/Gypsy/Sex & The Single Girl/Inside Daisy Clover)

 

Picture: B- †††Sound: C+ ††††Extras: B+†† ††Films:

 

Bombers B-52 C+

Cash McCall B-

Splendor in the Grass B

Gypsy B-

Sex and the Single Girl B-

Inside Daisy Clover B-

 

 

Natalie Wood is an actress that never really impressed me; itís no wonder why nearly 30-years after his controversial drowning that her films are slowing moving towards obscurity.Of course, not all of her films, she managed to star in some memorable films like West Side Story, but would also tally up some forgettable roles as well that were never critical successes. Warner has now issued a box set of her films including a silly war flick called Bombers B-52 with Karl Malden, 1959ís Cash McCall with James Garner, Elia Kazanís Splendor in the Grass, Rosalind Russell and Karl Malden in Gypsy, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, and Lauren Bacall in Sex and the Single Girl, and the 1965 feature Inside Daisy Clover.

 

Perhaps Woodís biggest downfall was that she seemed to do just about any type of film and maybe this was an attempt to avoid being typecast as some pretty girl who can only play one particular part, this is certainly true with a film like Inside Daisy Clover, which demonstrates the range of Wood as she plays a young 15-year old talent who makes her way to the top of Hollywood only to struggle in the ongoing years as a fallen star.Gypsy is a musical sensation about the showbiz industry that also showcases Woodís abilities with dance and song.With the exception of Bombers B-52, the other productions demonstrate her dramatic range and even comedic timing like in this case of Sex and the Single Girl, which reminded me of the recent hilarious film Down With Love, which was a send-up to the films of the 60ís; you can read our review here.

 

Splendor in the Grass is by default the best film here; it would also launch Wood into more serious adult-roles and would establish her as a semi-serious actress as well, although her critical acclaim would still be primarily in the days gone by.To this day, Wood has yet to be discovered the same way as actresses like Audrey Hepburn or Doris Day have, but for some people Natalie Wood will always have a soft place in their hearts and hopefully a space in their collection for this terrific set from Warner that does pull together a good cross section of her body of work.

 

Each film is presented in itís original aspect ratio, the set is split down the middle with three scope films shot in 2.35 X 1, they are Gypsy, Bombers B-52, and Inside Daisy Clover, the other three films were shot in 1.85 X 1 and all are anamorphically enhanced.While the older titles do show some age, all six films do look to be restored fairly well with signs of good color fidelity, overall detail, and incredible depth to boot.While DVD has limitations with itís resolution, these films still show good clarity overall and despite some excessive grain and some color bleeding, itís still a good showing overall.Gypsy (shot in Technirama) in particular has been restored using some new elements and is certainly the strongest out of the bunch, although Splendor in the Grass looks stunning as well, it is also the only film here not in Dolby Digital mono as it has been given a Dolby surround stereo mix that is a plus.

 

The sound is pretty fair for all six films; they do sound thinner and perhaps a bit more dated overall, although noise seems to have been reduced making them clearer in the presentation quality.Most of the time we are watching dialogue-driven films, so the fidelity is not superbly lacking, although Gypsy again stands out as a strong musical production that works well and is a good stereo mix, even with itís age.

 

Extras are quite plentiful and range title to title, each disc though does feature at least something of a supplement, each disc contains the trailer and a cartoon that would have been seen at the time of itís release, there are also some musical outtakes on Gypsy.

 

Fans of Wood do not need convinced of this purchase, considering the selection of titles here; this is a solid buy and will familiarize new audiences to Woodís better material, especially since her best work was with Warner.

 

Also check out Brainstorm reviewed here!

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/8202/Brainstorm+(1983/Warner+DVD)

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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