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Natalie Wood's performance in 'The Cracker Factory' is quite simply, brilliant. The fact she wasn't nominated for an Emmy for this performance is unforgivable. Her character is a nuanced mix of and belligerence and insecurity - with real depth and humour. When she found a part she could really relate to, there was such honesty in her work.
The film itself rises above the 70's telemovie 'disease of the week' cliche, although it would have made an interesting feature film under the right director.
It's a shame that Natalie died two years after this film, it would have been fascinating to watch her grow and mature as an actress. We have such a great gallery of portraits from her - from child parts (Tomorrow is Forever, Miracle on 34th St) to ingenue roles (Rebel Without a Cause) to the leading lady material of Splendor in the Grass and Love with the Proper Stranger. She didn't do too many films in the 70's or 80's - but The Cracker Factory shows how well she had developed.
Great support by Shelley Long, Juliet Mills etc... (the music score is a little distracting though - esp. during her speech to Perry King)
I have seen the movie several times and am floored by Wood's performance each time. Highly recommended.
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