Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, aka Natalie Wood, is a Hollywood legend. The child actor turned movie star was the leading lady of such timeless classics as Rebel Without A Cause, Miracle on 34th Street, and West Side Story, among countless others. A grand tragedy took Wood away from her family and the world in November of 1981 at only 43 years-old. Everyone has their own ideas about what the life of Natalie Wood was like, but director Laurent Bouzereau and Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner, who was also an executive producer on this project, set the record straight with Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind.
The film encompasses the entirety of Wood’s life, family, career, and feelings. It was a life that could be one of the wonderful films in which she starred. She was born in San Francisco, the child of Russian immigrants. As a small child, she started acting at the behest of her mother, and soon she was the sole breadwinner for her family. Her mother was controlling and paranoid, but the young lady persevered. Wood made a name for herself at a very young age and continued to flourish as one of the most famous actresses of her generation.
“…encompasses the entirety of Wood’s life, family, career, and feelings.”
What Remains Behind delves into her very interesting marital history. She first married Robert Wagner on December 28th, 1957. Both were incredibly famous at the time, particularly Wood. However, times got tough with her and Wagner, and they divorced in 1962. Wagner would remarry and have a child. In 1969, Wood married Robert Redford’s agent/producer Richard Gregson, with whom she had her first child, Natasha. The marriage didn’t last that long because Gregson cheated on Wood with her secretary, so she threw all his belongings out a window and changed the locks. In 1972, she reconnected with Wagner, and they married again in July of that year.
This enough is something to be remembered by, but Natalie Wood continued to produce quality performances. We see footage from some of her movies, including The Great Race, Inside Daisy Clover, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Love With the Proper Stranger, Driftwood, Splendor in the Grass, Tomorrow is Forever, among many more. Wood was known for getting what she wanted out of studio executives and paved the way for female performers who would follow in her stead.
"…a comprehensive tour of all the different facets of Wood's life."