Friday, 15 November 2013




  • Production Credits

  • Director - William D. Russell
  • Producer - Robert Paige
  • Cinematographer - John L. Russell
  • Editor - Richard W. Farrell
  • Composer (Music Score) - Rudy Schrager

Cats Credits

  • Marguerite Chapman - Deborah Matthews
  • Walter Brennan - Mr. Matthews
  • Robert Paige - David Barkley
  • Natalie Wood - Susan Matthews
  • Ted Donaldson - Phineas Matthews
  • Connie Marshall - Abigail Matthews
  • Irving Bacon - Julius Larkins
  • Milburn Stone - Rev. Benton
  • Geraldine Wall - Mrs. Wexford
Back in the late 80's, I saw a show about the life of Natalie Wood on PBS. In it, they showed the scene where she had to cross the bridge during a terrible, hurricane-like, and apocolyptic thunderstorm at night. When Turner Classic Movies aired this last July 20, on what would have been her 73rd birthday, I finally learned that this was the movie where she developed her lifelong fear of water: a fear that took her life thirty-two years later.

In the movie, while she and her brother Phinny were at a Four H Club party at the home of the Wexfords, this terrible storm hits. Because it was too dangerous, Mr. and Mrs. Wexford allowed the children to stay there overnight. Susan Matthews (Natalie Wood's character in the movie), who wore a bunny suit to the party, tells her brother Phinny that they couldn't stay there, and that they needed to get home. She was worried about what would happen to her lambs. With the storm still raging, she leaves the Wexfords and heads for home.

When she got to the bridge, it collapsed. She fell into the raging water. She injured her left wrist, and she nearly drowned. But she made it across the bridge. Despite the storm, she finally made it home and she rescued her lambs. This scene not only traumatized her, she developed a lifelong fear of water: a fear that would take her life thirty-two years later, when she fell into the water off of Catalina Island and she drowned.

The studio should have been sued for negligence back then! I can't believe that they made this poor young girl do such a dangerous scene!