Natalie Wood Movies

wood 11111Want to know the best Natalie Wood movies?  How about the worst Natalie Wood movies?  Curious about Natalie Wood box office grosses or which Natalie Wood movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Natalie Wood movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Natalie Wood (1938-1983) was a three-time Academy Award® nominated actress. Wood began her acting career as a child actress (1947’s Miracle on 34th Street), gained renown as a teenage actress (1955’s Rebel Without A Cause & 1956’s The Searchers) and became one of the most successful actresses of the 1960s (1961’s West Side Story, 1969’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice).  Her movies grossed over $3.46 billion in adjusted box office gross….picked up 51 Oscar® nominations…..won 15 Oscars®.  So with all of these great movie stats and great movies in her movie career, it seemed that we were way overdue it writing a Natalie Wood Movie Ranking page…..well that error has been fixed!

Her IMDb page shows 73 acting credits from 1943-1983. This page will rank 43 Natalie Wood movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in North American theaters were not included in the rankings.  To do well in our rankings a movie has to do well at the box office, get good reviews by critics, be liked by audiences and get some award recognition.

Natalie Wood and James Dean in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause

Natalie Wood and James Dean in 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause

Natalie Wood Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Natalie Wood movies by co-stars of her movies
  • Sort Natalie Wood movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Natalie Wood movies by yearly domestic box office rank or trivia
  • Sort Natalie Wood movies by how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Natalie Wood movie received.
  • Sort Natalie Wood movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the sort and search box to make this table very interactive.  For example if you type in “Redford” in the search box….the 2 Robert Redford/Natalie Wood movies will pop right up.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Natalie Wood Table

  1. Seventeen Natalie Wood movie crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 39.53% of her movies listed. West Side Story (1961) was her biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Natalie Wood movie grosses $102.80 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  26 of Natalie Wood’s movies are rated as good movies…or 60.40% of her movies.  The Searchers (1956) is her highest rated movie while Meteor (1979) is her lowest rated movie.
  4. Eighteen Natalie Wood movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 41.86% of her movies.
  5. Four Natalie Wood movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 9.30% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 40.00.  22 Natalie Wood movie scored higher that average….or 51.16% of her movies. West Side Story (1961) got the the highest UMR Score while Meteor (1979) got the lowest UMR Score.
Natalie Wood in 1965's Inside Daisy Clover

Natalie Wood in 1965’s Inside Daisy Clover

Possibly Interesting Facts About Natalie Wood

1.  Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko was born in 1938 in San Francisco, California.  RKO Studios executives changed her name to Natalie Wood.  Her sister, Lana Wood, would become a Bond girl….Diamonds Are Forever.

2.  Natalie Wood made her film debut a few weeks before turning five during a fifteen-second scene in the 1943 film Happy Land.

3.  Natalie Wood went to high school with Robert Redford.  Wood also attended ballet classes as a child with Jill St. John and Stefanie Powers. All three women would eventually be a huge part of Robert Wagner’s life.

4.  Natalie Wood was nominated for three acting Oscars®: 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause, 1961’s  Splendor In The Grass and 1963’s Love With The Proper Stranger.

5.  Natalie Wood has been nominated for five acting Golden Globes®: 1961’s Splendor In The Grass, 1962’s Gypsy, 1963’s Love With The Proper Stranger, 1965’s Inside Daisy Clover and 1966’s This Property Is Condemned.  She won Golden Globes® for Best Newcomer in 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause (had they not seen Miracle on 34th street?) and Best Actress in a television movie…1979’s From Here To Eternity.

6. Natalie Wood was married three times.  Twice to Robert Wagner (1957-1962) & (1972 to her death in 1983) and once to Richard Gregson (1969-1972).  She had one child with both of them.

7. Natalie Wood was voted the 51st Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

8. Natalie Wood’s pallbearers were Rock Hudson, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Elia Kazan, Gregory Peck, David Niven and Fred Astaire.

9. Don Henley wrote the song “Dirty Laundry” to express his outrage at the tabloid press for their treatment of Natalie Wood after her death.

10. Natalie Wood turned or seriously considered for the following roles: Jane Fonda role in Barefoot in the Park, Faye Dunaway role in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, Audrey Hepburn role in Charade, Liza Minnelli role in Cabaret, Mia Farrow role in The Great Gatsby, Lois Lane role in Superman and Katharine Ross role in The Graduate.

Check out Natalie Wood‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globe® is a registered trademark.


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29 thoughts on “Natalie Wood Movies

  1. (1) For the earlier part of her career Natalie was a child star but unlike Shirley she was consigned to supporting roles so my database has accepted only those movies from the mid-1950s onward where she had a proper starring role of some kind. I notice that about 25% of your video entries come from early years.
    (2) Of course those earlier films were too soon for the revelation of her enormous sex appeal that she projected in her adult roles, but according to one of her biographers it was when she was working as a youngster that she spotted Robert Wagner on an adjacent studio lot and she told her mother that she was determined to marry him when she grew up!
    (3) Bruce and you are agreed on 4 of your Top 5 though he took me aback by ranking 7th West Side Story [your No 2]. I see that you have managed to include Bombers B52 [aka No Sleep till Dawn] which was one of the very few of Natalie’s lesser-known flicks to elude Bruce’s stats table for Natalie. That one has a nostalgic attraction for me.
    (4) Fine coloured still of Natalie and Gene Kelly from Marjorie Morningstar and a corker of Natalie doing one of Gypsy’s solo acts. No trace of her child star years in that one! I liked too the black and white solo of the very young Natalie from The Searchers.
    (5) My favourite poster reproductions are those from Burning hills, Penelope, Cash McCall, the minor Brainstorm – and The Great Race.
    (6) The latter poster is an illustration of the billing compromises that some stars used to agree in the old days. The split here was similar to that negotiated by the Duke in Jimmy Stewart for Liberty Valance as in The Great Race Jack was named first on the screen and Tony got top billing on all the official posters. Sadly Natalie was the ‘Myrna’ of the trio in that under both arrangements she came third!
    (7) Overall a bright 9.2 treat for the Christmas Eve eyes – great fun!

    Anyway have a good Christmas Steve. I’ve enjoyed our exchanges and friendly ‘sparring’ over the past months and have taken away a lot of new information from your presentations which have given me great viewing pleasure

    1. Thanks Bob, appreciate the review, ratings, observation and trivia. I thought Natalie Wood would be a nice Xmas video, she did appear in one of the most famous Xmas movies ever. I only included a handful of her ‘child-actor’ roles just for variety. I’m sure someone will turn up complaining that I left out an important early role of hers but I tried my best to include some noteworthy films.

      Billings-wise West Side Story is Natalie’s top rated movie. Her smaller role in The Searchers was too important to ignore and had to be included. When I was young The Great Race was hilarious, not so much now, ditto It’s a Mad, Mad Mad Mad World, noisy overblown comedies with few genuine laughs IMO but a must-have in any serious movie collection.

      I haven’t seen Gypsy in ages, that photo I included makes me want to watch it again. 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve seen Bombers B-52, I will have to track it down.

      Cheers Bob and a Very Merry Xmas to you too!

      1. Phew! Narrow escape. I have just finished watching Bill Murray’s excellent Scrooged (1988) in which Robert Mitchum had a supporting role. When the movie was over I turned to my wife and said “We’re lucky. I counted Big Bob’s screen time as roughly 10 mins, but that film was so good that if Mitch had been in it for another half minute Lensman and Coogerson would have adjusted their material to make Scrooged Robert’s highest ranked film artistically.

        1. Hey Bob….glad you get your Scrooged viewing in this Christmas season. I had a goal of finally watching White Christmas this year….but like all years before…I have failed in that goal. Glad Mitchum did not get that last minute then…..I guess we will have to figure out another way to get Scrooged from 27th to 1st in my critic/audience category….gotta get that overrated Night of the Hunter out of the top spot…lol.

      2. Hey Steve…James Garner has an uncredited voice role in that movie….I have not seen it either….but I know I will be on the look out for that one when I do get to see it.

    2. Hey Bob….did you give her credit for Miracle on 34th Street? Seems her part was supporting….but one of the biggest parts of the success….like Heath Ledger’s part in The Dark Knight. Glad Steve and I agree on 4 of the Top 5. Good stuff as usual. Thanks for the all the comments this year.

  2. 1 I’ve been curious about how Natalie would fare under this update as I’ve never been certain about the extent of her box office star status. In the first dozen or so years of her career she was a child performer and/or was confined to supporting or uncredited roles.

    2 Because of that in conjunction with the figures that Bruce has now produced for her it is reasonable to regard her top star years as being from the two Tab Hunter films in 1956 until
    Bob and Carol; and Ted and Alice in 1969.

    3 However in a quick glance through Quigley Top 10s I could not spot her name and an isolation of the Cogerson grosses for her 15 films in the top star period that I have defined would give her an overall box office total of around $2.06 billion which is not vertiginous.

    4 It is true that her career was prematurely cut short by her untimely death but she was 43 when she died and if the “curse of 39” had afflicted her there wouldn’t of course have been much more box office success left for her to celebrate.

    5 However the AVERAGE of the 15 films mentioned is nearly $138 million which is quite good and Bruce feels that her impact was sufficient for her to be ranked 19th in his table of greatest actresses 1950-2010 so that is the point where I’ll cease my deliberations.

    6 My favourite Natalie Wood roles were The Great Race (1965) and the Searchers (1956) albeit she was in the shadow of the Duke. Also I liked the song Young Love from the film The Girl he Left Behind (1956) which Natalie’s co-star Tab Hunter got into pop hit parades. Apparently Natalie did not actually like that movie though it made money. There was a third pairing of Natalie and Tab scheduled for No Sleep till Dawn [1957 and originally titled Bombers B-52] but Tab backed out and was replaced by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

    1. Hey Bob.
      1. Thanks for checking out our Natalie Wood updated page. I agree she unlike Elizabeth Taylor was known for her movies….but not a star until she got older…which is probably the best way to grow up in Hollywood.
      2. 1956 to 1969 seems to be correct….especially since she stepped away from movies after 1969….with a only a cameo in The Candidate and Michael Caine’s Peeper the only credits she had for 6 or 7 years.
      3. I would think her only real chance for Quigley would have been 1961/62…with West Side Story being a monster hit.
      4. Not thinking she was headed back to stardom…when she made Brainstorm….it did not really help Walken become a leading man….so I do not think it would have brought her back…Meteor probably ended her money making days.
      5. I think 19th is reasonable….from child appearances in classic movies to decent teenage movies to Oscar winning movies to a box office draw in the 1960s…..I think the only thing she did not get was an Oscar win.
      6. Wow….I randomly picked up a Tab Hunter biography the other day in a book store….and the part I read was about Tab rejecting No Sleep Till Dawn…and now you are mentioning it… is a small world after all.
      As for favorite Wood movies…I would say…Love With A Proper Stranger would join the movies you listed.
      Thanks for your thoughts on Natalie Wood.

      1. HI BRUCE! Thanks for your further comments.

        1 Agree with you that 61/62 would have been Natalie’s best time for Quigley followed by potentially 1969 with Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice which you have registered as her 3rd biggest box office hit, which was a great talking point at the time because of what was then regarded as a daring theme and in which she was the top billed star.

        2 You may also have read that Tab turned down No Sleep till Dawn/Bombers B-52 because he was furious about the catastrophic reviews that he got for The Girl He Left Behind. It seems that maybe he did a ‘Sandra Bullock’ and blamed Natalie for his misfortune because he continued to make films with other stars; and indeed his very next one was Hell Bent For Glory (1958) with the mighty Eastwood in support.

        ** I couldn’t pick that one up in your table under either heading – they didn’t change its title again?

        3 This seems to be a week for coincidences as on Saturday I watched Elsa and Fred in which I thought that albeit in old age Shirley and Plummer had the kind of chemistry that she enjoyed back in the days of Eastwood, Lemmon and Sir Maurice.

        6 I should add that I am biased there as I love both Shirley/Chris in movies and Chris and Frank Langella are two of my very favourite character actors. Most audiences will of course immediately associate Christopher with The Sound of Music but I preferred him in Pacino/Crowe’s The Insider – and have you seen him as Sherlock Holmes in Murder by Decree (1979) with James Mason as his Watson? At the age of 86 Christopher like Shirley is a great survivor in movies.

  3. The problem has been eliminated. I blocked the person on FB and now I am allowed to comment about Natalie Wood. What bother. Someone who has no sense of humour at all. Still getting private emails from the man to my personal email. No idea what he really looks like. Annoying.

    Anyway, back to Sex and the Single Girl. As I have since mentioned on FB, this is the film I watched on Henry Fonda’s birthday earlier this year. Very funny film. I try to watch movies on people’s birthdays that they are in, but that does not always work out.


    These comments that you have to answer to the point where you aren’t sure which to answer first. Well. Quite amazing, being that this is your hobby and you don’t get paid to do anything on this website. Well, you are underpaid.

    Send me an email to tell me which person you are featuring next. I will not be home tomorrow until the afternoon, so even if it is not a Canadian – really, three Canadians in a row much appreciated – my Canadian radar as we like to call it will have to wait….

    1. Glad you were able to post that on Facebook. I think the comments are the best parts…usually I get to the comments pretty quickly…though lately seems the comments have been coming fast and furious (that is a good thing….as June has been very good so far for views and comments).

      Last night I missed this Natalie Wood comment. Sorry about that. As for next….your suggestion on Michael J. Fox has me interested….though I need a classic star next….as of this minute I have no idea. Today is Alex’s (Son #3) 21st birthday… time will be limited. So I am thinking the next new one will be tomorrow.

      1. Happy birthday Alex, Son #3 – you are starting to sound like Charlie Chan. 🙂

        HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY, ALEX! You are now legal.

        1. He actually has to wait until tomorrow to be legal…we just did the family birthday party on Sunday… right now he is still unable to legally buy alcohol…..but I can only make that claim for another 8 hours. Thanks for the birthday wishes for the young man.

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