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Marjorie Morningstar [VHS]


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Product Description

Marjorie Morningstar (Natalie Wood) is a beautiful eighteen-year-old eager to work in the glitzy world of the theatre. Leaving behind her stable home-life and reliable fiancé, she heads for an east coast resort for a summer season of fun and experience. There she meets and falls in love with producer Noel Airman (Gene Kelly), who sweeps her off her feet in a passionate love affair. Following him to Broadway where he wants to break into the big time, she soon learns some valuable life lessons.

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Amazon.com: 51 reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly Shine in Adaptation of Novel 30 Mar. 2001
By Antoinette Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Natalie Wood is stunning as the young woman who seeks to become a Broadway star and to marry the love of her life. Gene Kelly also gives a heartwarming performance as the older man who captures her heart with his flamboyant lifestyle and immense talent.
Unlike the book which was set in the 30's, the film is reset to the post-war 50's and avoids the political implications of Hilter's rise to power on the Jewish Marjorie. The movie does, however, maintain all the futility of her search for stardom and her tumultuous love affair with Noel Airman. My only criticism of the movie might have been that the ending was completely changed. However, after feeling so sad at the realistic ending of the novel, I finished watching the video smiling at its happier conclusion.
Gene Kelly is unquestionably an actor, but his one dance number and his beautiful singing of "A Very Precious Love" lit up the screen. Martin Milner shines as the friend besotted with love for Marjorie, Carolyn Jones is wonderful as her outspoken friend, and Ed Wynn is charming as the uncle, particularly in a campy scene dressed as a bullfighter. Watch also for 60's heartthrob Edd "Kookie" Byrnes as one of Marjorie's first boyfriends.
If you've never read the novel, you will still be enchanted with this classic love story. If you have read the novel, you will be mesmerized as Wouk's characters come to life.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Words do not do this film justice...it is wonderful... 12 Dec. 2000
By TaurusAttic - Published on Amazon.com
Like the previous reviewer, I'm somewhat surprised at the less than appreciative reviews on Marjorie Morningstar. It is a truly remarkable movie. I'd like to rebuke the comment one reviewer made about Gene Kelly being bloated. Surely she/he must have been mistaken. Handsome Gene Kelly was absolutely believable as the dashing Noel Airman, even at 46yrs old. The acting from Natalie Wood was good enough, nothing brilliant though. However, the brilliance of the story more than makes up fot that.
Gene Kelly's performance was truly breathtaking. Many film critics have dismissed Gene Kelly's acting abilities, labeling him a song and dance man and incapable of fine acting. They have obviously not seen this film. Gene Kelly was magnificent as Noel Airman. His portrayal was not only sensitive, moving, but full of understanding of the character played.
The ending of Marjorie Morningstar is poignant, tinged with sadness. I recommend this film to all, especially if you are a Gene Kelly fan and want to see just how good he can act, minus the tap shoes.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Welles found her talent "terrifying" 7 Jun. 2002
By Brad Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"I was just a little in love with Natalie, since the first time we met. I never stopped loving her. I never will." So said Orson Welles, working with child star Natalie Wood on a Hollywood set in 1945. Daughter of Russian immigrants, the girl with dark eyes and the quaint curtsy melted Welles' heart. In 1957, having co-starred in "Rebel Without a Cause", Natalie Wood lobbied hard for the up-coming lead in Warner Bros' "Marjorie Morningstar". The studio had planned it for her all along. Herman Wouk's 565-page smash hit novel depicts 18-year-old Marjorie; a young girl seeking love and happiness, and relief from a string of amorous beaus. Her worldly friend Marsha(a stand-out performance by unheralded Carolyn Jones) urges her to join a New York upstate summer camp. She does, and once there, her eyes behold Noel Aikman, and well....1958's colorful, fast-moving "Marjorie Morningstar" is a delightful throw-back to the lilting romantic dramas of Hollywood past. Old-time director Irving Rapper argued with young Natalie on the set, but their clash produced a clear, charming, charasmatic portrait of effervescent youth and lustrous beauty. "Marjorie Morningstar" attempts unsuccessfully to condense the epic tome into a 2-hour movie. Early on, the film drags through Jewish family traditions and the slow-moving antics of Uncle Sampson(a lovable portayal by Hollywood icon Ed Wynn). The pace quickens as Morjorie is whisked into a failed relationship with an older, successful doctor. Many key scenes, however, sparkle with the innocent charm that created Natalie Wood. The movie bristles with veteran talents like Ed "Kookie" Byrnes, Gene Kelly, Martin Balsam, and Jesse White. It contains an exceptional music score by Max Steiner, who composed 1933's "King Kong". Natalie Wood's biographer paints an early life of unhappiness and insecurity for the widely talented former "Natasha". Her sorrows here are genuine. "Marjorie Morningstar"s shooting coincided with Wood's engagement and first marriage to Robert Wagner. She's excellent in her romantic scenes. They would marry twice. She had been dating Hollywood's best, including James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Warren Beatty, and Elvis. Sadly, this new Artesan Images DVD shows lots of flaws in the master. The DVD is unrestored. Colors are brilliant, but a nasty jump-cut occurs about 13 minutes ino the film. Several splice cuts emerge in the last reels, and the Warners' logo is sloppily hacked off the leader tail and the film finish. Robbed of life in a mysterious, still un-solved boating accident in 1981, the world lost Natalie Wood much too soon. She was 43. But thanks to the magic of cinema and the power of DVD, her powerful performance here can be seen today and tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Don't read the book! 20 April 2007
By T. Gramse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Yes, I'm a man and yes, I like this movie. It is strictly out of the 50's, however, but that is when I grew up and for that reason the film brings a bit of nostalgia with it. Another reason to watch this film is to see Natalie Wood's big brown eyes just one more time. No, she was never a great actress, although I think that she came close in Love with the Proper Stranger and in Splendor in the Grass, my favorite of her films. This being said, a few notes of caution are in order. I don't yet own the DVD of this title for one BIG reason: the transfer sounds like it is identical to the horrible laserdisc version, which I do own. On that transfer, the color is weak and distorted and the focus is not quite sharp. There are a few splices and one ridiculous jump-cut, as another reviewer pointed out. And to top it off, the movie opens with a trailer which cuts directly to the film, completely lopping off the Warner Bros. logo and the first notes of the main title. I keep hoping for a decent, legitimate transfer of this movie which is the only reason I am at this website. One final word: if you like the movie, don't EVER read the book! It a wonderful book with many "slice of life" truths and contains many poignant moments which the movie misses altogether, the "kiss under the lilacs" being just one example. Once you read the book, you will either throw out the film, or spend a lifetime regretting what should have been done with it! But then, there are those big brown eyes.......
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not the best master used for DVD; picture quality only o.k. 22 Jun. 2010
By Allen Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is not a comment on the movie's storyline, acting, or direction. Though Gene Kelly is a joke of a casting choice for a 33 y.o, being 46 or older in real life at the time.

I bought this DVD brand-new, and there are not any scratches on the playing surface (or either surface) at all. All of the picture problems are inherent in the master that was used to make the DVD.

The picture-quality of the DVD is slightly weak for a DVD, better than VHS but not restored, not especially sharp. Even for a 1957 movie (and this is in color), among the lesser quality DVD transfers I've seen on over 1000 DVDs I've viewed. The DVD is clearly made from a master that is possibly not the sharpest master, and certainly is not the studio's #1 master. There's at least one major cut-off and then jump in the picture, and in several other spots, picture and sound defects occur. The picture is slightly soft-focus throughout, and grainy. Sharp enough, barely, to qualify as DVD quality, apart from the above-mentioned defects.

Obviously, the very best studio master reels for this film, even copies sent to TV networks, are gone. Or someone was too lazy to find them.

This DVD is plenty viewable, certainly, but otherwise is barely of DVD quality. Previously (before editing this review), I had called it "not even solid VHS quality," and that was simply too harsh and not true. It merely is not quite as sharp as DVDs of other films from that period, plus contains the aforementioned defects. But if you like this movie, get this DVD, it is the best presentation yet.
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