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Did Alec Baldwin really say he was 50/50 on Natalie Wood as an actress?


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Listening to RO and AB commenting after "Splendor In The Grass" last night it seemed AB was finding it hard to find words about Natalie Wood. When he made the 50/50 remark I swore the look on RO's face suggested he just swallowed his tongue.

Then AB made some comment about NW "playing a game" then changing it to "using a technique" with her acting.

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I didn't see that, but if he said that, then he's full of it.

 

She got better and better as her career went on when it comes to acting. I don't think she ever became an elite actress, but she was pretty good. Her biggest problem was continuing to play teenagers, long after she stopped being one.

 

I can see someone criticizing her choice of movies, but her acting was good.

 

She certainly had a better film career than Alec Baldwin.

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Sorry I missed Alec's comment. During her lifetime Natalie Wood was not taken too seriously as an actress, especially by the more intellectual critics. No Method actor would have wanted to be the next Natalie Wood. In the 1960s it would not have been particularly cool to be one of her fans. A typical response about Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which starred Natalie in a film that was considered cool, was Pauline Kael's quip that Natalie Wood could probably have benefited from the group therapy sessions portrayed in the movie. You might say she was old Hollywood when old Hollywood wasn't cool.

 

Many viewers today see Natalie Wood as warm, tender, and vulnerable on screen, and yes, she could do comedy too. She's a much better actress than she was given credit for being.

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I'm probably not gonna be too popular here, but, what's the big deal? Baldwin is just voicing his opinion. I like Natalie Wood, but I sure never thought of her as a particularly great actor. And, I am not an elitist critic, just a movie fan. I don't want the TCM hosts to be 'yes men', people who always rave about every perfomer. I am as interested in hearing why someone dislikes an actor as much as why someone DOES like an actor.

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Yes, he said it. Just as he said that Virginia Mayo was one of the few actresses of her era who was as beautiful as actresses of today. Baldwin is offensive, and adds little in the way of true insights. As much as I love TCM, it is terribly disappointing that we will be subjected to another stint of Baldwin co-hosting The Essentials.

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Well a few things. One, if AB did say that then I could understand RO having that reaction since I remember he had very fond memories of getting an interview with Natalie very early in his career when he wasn't the polished RO we love today. Two, I don't expect AB and RO to gush over every film, every performance and every actor when they discuss the essentials. I actually have heard both AB and RO not be too enthusiastic about a film or performance but not enough to make a first time viewer change the channel. I think this is what makes their chemistry genuine and why he has done the Essentials back to back. Thirds, AB is entitled to his opinion like all of us.

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What he said was that he was 50/50 over whether she was an actress or a movie star. It's actually a valid comment as she really didn't have that many opportunities to shine as a dramatic actress - certainly there weren't many vehicles for her on the level of the Kazan film. Then and now, her starring vehicles THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED, MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR or INSIDE DAISY CLOVER were not received well and a good many of her films, such as CASH McCALL, SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL, ALL THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS, BOMBERS B-52 are barely worth watching once.

 

Baldwin went on to say that he wasn't sure if he had thought she was a child star who never matured and thus relied on being cute or if she had blossomed. I got the impression that he was unfamiliar with the film - although he did not come out and say it - but that he did know something of her career and let's be honest, she didn't always have a Kazan or Nick Ray in her corner. Warners put her in a lot of crap that didn't tax her abilities but did rely upon her name to bring them in.

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Sometimes, I suspect, people here read what someone else has said one of the TCM hosts have said, and they go off the deep end in indignation, even though they themselves did not see the host making the statement in question. Often it's all about context. It's like people getting mad about some book or film they think ought to be censored or banned, without even having read the book or seen the film. This is how rumours get started - someone takes as literally truth what someone else has said, gets mad, and next thing you know - trouble !

 

Who cares if Alec Baldwin doesn't particularly like Natalie Wood anyway; but aside from that, it sounds from what at least one poster has said here that he framed his remarks about her within a certain context, he wasn't just "trashing" her. Even if he had been, strong opinions make the intros and outros more interesting than constant bland approval.

 

Just sayin' - people should check information out for themselves before getting all bent out of shape based on what somebody claimed somebody else said. This applies whether we're talking about schoolyard gossip, politics, or Turner Classic Movies.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Apr 11, 2011 7:30 PM

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Natalie Wood is cemented in some great classic movies, that is all that matters to me.

 

BTW I think Alec Balwin had a chance to continue the Jack Ryan franchise [after Hunt for Red October] and turned down the studio, so Harrison Ford took it over. I bet Alec regrets that now.

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& what in the you know what did Mr. 0sborne say? He's written & spoken of him literally owing

a huge chunck of his career to NATALIE! She was his very first celeb interview at her pretty humble house & at the finale of every "Pvt. Screenings" he said he gives a silent "THANK YOU NATALIE!"

True, she was no Garbo or Kate, but she was robbed of her role as deanie in "Splendor..." & shoulda' won! & for any questioning her ability check out the l979 tv movie "The Cracker Factory"

Baldwin really hit a nerve with many of us!

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Also, read the June of 2010 "Pvt. Screenings" It was on the show though where Osborne spoke of him often feeling she really gave him his start.

"Rebel..." "Splendor..." "Love With the Proper Stranger" "Daisy Clover"-(deserved her 4th nod.)

& others. Her only Golden Globe was for the l979 tv mini-series "From Here to Eternity"

Who does Baldwin think he is, Brando, Tracy or 0livier?

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I heard smart-Alec Baldwin say the 50/50 comment about Natalie Wood and it really did throw me for a loop. Robert Osborne flinched a little after this comment but handled it with coolness. I know AB has a right to his opinion and could be correct about some of her not so great movies, but I think she was a fine actress in many of her motion pictures. I love her with Steve McQueen in Love With The Proper Stranger, a really good movie with sensitive portrayals from both characters. RO, in writing about her last year when she was Star of the Month did note that she helped him with his interviewing skills by putting his index cards with his questions in the proper order. She was one of his first interviews, and I'm sure feels that he owes her a lot. So of course he would react that way when AB said that. I didn't think it was a proper thing to say at that time, especially since that was one of her best performances, but if that's how he feels, then that's how he feels. Of course, I'm prejudice because I love Natalie Wood. I named my daughter after her. And I don't like smart-Alec Baldwin.

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Movies are a visual medium. The visual impact an actor imparts to the audience is an important element of his/her effectiveness. And in this regard, Natalie Wood is in rarified air. -Very rarified.

 

This consideration alone makes Baldwin's 50/50 comment difficult to fathom.

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I agree MissWonderly. At the end of the day it all comes down to people subconsciously refusing to accept a person having an opinion other than their own. I see it all the time on these boards. A thread can be started asking people to name actors or films they don't like and the first few replies will be a person writing a dissertation to the OP on why the films or actors listed are great, instead of contributing names and titles who they don't really care for.

 

I didn't see AB's comments but I can't imagine him being disgusting or trashing Natalie Wood. I have seen him disagree with RO and even not care for a movie and maturely express why. I think a fellow actor has the right not to like, admire or gush over the work of a fellow actor whether living or dead. I don't even believe that most of the stars we see in new releases are familiar with many of the actors and actresses we casually discuss here and are so familiar with. If AB is going to be replaced with a puppet that goes to Wikipedia and reads about the films, watches it, and then gushes about the film on camera then I want no parts.

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My issue with Baldwin has nothing to do with " subconsciously refusing to accept a person having an opinion."

 

If Baldwin's charter as co-host of The Essentials is to enhance ratings by making controversial comments, then he is certainly succeeding. If his charter is to provide insights and make comments that enhance the viewer's experience without antagonizing them, then I'd say he is on on the road to spectacular failure. RO is expert at the latter, but given AB's proclivities, it certainly stands to reason that he'd be better suited for the former.

 

RO is a national treasure who despite the fact that his knowledge of classic movies is nonpareil, never lets his ego drive his comments and opinions. Baldwin on the other hand, needs to inform us mere mortals of insights like a beloved classic movie icon actually being only 50/50 as an actress, and current actresses being more beautiful than those we love from the past.

 

Baldwin (like the rest of us) has his opinions and is entitled to them. What I question is whether TCM and it's loyal viewers are being well served by being subjected to much of what he has to say.

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What I question is whether TCM and it's loyal viewers are being well served by being subjected to much of what he has to say.

 

How so? TCM has long been a channel devoted to the audience of today. The legacy audience better served by Bob Dorian and Robert Osborne is tolerated, of course, but it's the yout demographic and their money whom TCM is courting with the likes of Ben M. and Alec B.

 

So why be surprised when class has been sacrificed for Facebook and Twitter and opinion in place of fact? Cable news channels do handstands to appeal to the lowest common denominator, why not TCM?

 

Baldwin (like the rest of us) has his opinions and is entitled to them.

 

That's the beauty of message boards and reality shows. Opinions matter, truth does not.

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As a member of the "legacy audience", I will continue to object to ill-considered drivel even if it does resonate with TCM's targeted demographic.

 

In AB's case, his pop culture status may create some pull, but even among younger viewers, I think his act will wear thin if they actually listen to what he is saying.

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Yeah, I like that he used the word "nonpareil" - good word, you don't hear that too often.

 

I like "retromikey"s style of writing, but I disagree with his views about Alec Bakdwin. However, I'd rather disagree with someone who writes well then agree with someone who doesn't.

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