My darling friend Jonny and I have very similar taste in movies. So, when he gave me a list of films I simply had to watch, I took it seriously. And I decided to review them on my blog, as I watch them.
Here is the first film.
Inside Daisy Clover is the story of, well, Daisy Clover, a 15-year-old girl from the wrong side of the tracks who becomes a movie star overnight. As Daisy (played by Natalie Wood) copes with her new found fame, as America's favorite little girl, she discovers the sinister side of 1930s Hollywood, which eventually leads to her demise.
When this film was released, it was a box-office and critical failure. It has gone on to become a cult classic, however.
On the surface, it is easy to see why Inside Daisy Clover was a flop in 1965.
Natalie Wood was 27 years old when this film was made. A year before, she had played a glamorous psychiatrist in the 1964 smash hit, Sex and the Single Girl. After seeing her in such a sexy romantic comedy, it would have been hard for audiences to believe Natalie as a 15-year-old, despite her youthful features.
Also, this movie is incredibly dark, with even darker humor. I'm not sure if audiences around this time were expecting anything like it. I'm not even sure if audiences around this time had experienced anything like it before.
That being said, I can recognize many reasons why this movie resonates with audiences TODAY.
This is one of the first films where Hollywood exposes itself, and it's not pretty. The Golden Age of Hollywood, the 1930s, is portrayed as a time when movie studios were people factories and studio heads were ruthless. Movie stars were like dolls, without much freedom.
The acting in this film is solid. Christopher Plummer shines as the powerful, yet creepy, studio head, Raymond Swan. Ruth Gordon is incredibly believable as Daisy's mentally ill mother.
The actor who steals the show, however, is Robert Redford.
Unbelievably young and with all-American boyish good looks, Robert is brilliant in his portrayal of the charming movie star Wade Lewis. His character steals your heart and tosses it away, but you don't even care because you're too busy being mesmerized by his smile.
If you love old movies and you're interested in the way Hollywood used to be, I definitely recommend Inside Daisy Clover.