Me, Natalie (1969)

111-112 mins | Comedy-drama | 13 July 1969

Director:

Fred Coe

Producer:

Stanley Shapiro

Cinematographer:

Arthur J. Ornitz

Production Designer:

George Jenkins

Production Companies:

Nob Hill Productions, Cinema Center Films
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HISTORY

The title is introduced at the beginning of the film, but all other credits appear at the end. Star Patty Duke offers voice-over commentary during the film.
       CBS Theatrical Films, a new feature film-producing subsidiary of the Columbia Broadcasting System, announced that it planned to make twenty-two movies at a combined estimated budget of $60 million, beginning with Doris Day’s With Six You Get Eggroll (1968, see entry), according to the 25 Oct 1967 LAT. Four months later, the 28 Feb 1968 DV reported that the company had a $20.5-million investment “in negatives, prints and advertising” in five pictures, including Me, Natalie, that were scheduled to be finished or in production by Jul 1968.
       According to the 18 Oct 1967 Var, Howard Morris was slated to direct, but was ultimately not involved with the film. A schedule of films in the 10 May 1968 DV revealed that Fred Coe, who produced The Miracle Worker (1962, see entry), for which Patty Duke won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, would direct the actress in Me, Natalie. The production borrowed James Farentino from Universal Pictures to star opposite her, according to the 17 Jun 1968 DV.
       Filming began on 24 Jun 1968, according to a production chart in the 28 Jun 1968 DV. Articles in the 7 Jul 1968 and 15 Aug 1968 editions of the NYT celebrated the recent glut of movies being shot in New York City, including Me, Natalie, which was filmed at the following locations: Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway, ... More Less

The title is introduced at the beginning of the film, but all other credits appear at the end. Star Patty Duke offers voice-over commentary during the film.
       CBS Theatrical Films, a new feature film-producing subsidiary of the Columbia Broadcasting System, announced that it planned to make twenty-two movies at a combined estimated budget of $60 million, beginning with Doris Day’s With Six You Get Eggroll (1968, see entry), according to the 25 Oct 1967 LAT. Four months later, the 28 Feb 1968 DV reported that the company had a $20.5-million investment “in negatives, prints and advertising” in five pictures, including Me, Natalie, that were scheduled to be finished or in production by Jul 1968.
       According to the 18 Oct 1967 Var, Howard Morris was slated to direct, but was ultimately not involved with the film. A schedule of films in the 10 May 1968 DV revealed that Fred Coe, who produced The Miracle Worker (1962, see entry), for which Patty Duke won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, would direct the actress in Me, Natalie. The production borrowed James Farentino from Universal Pictures to star opposite her, according to the 17 Jun 1968 DV.
       Filming began on 24 Jun 1968, according to a production chart in the 28 Jun 1968 DV. Articles in the 7 Jul 1968 and 15 Aug 1968 editions of the NYT celebrated the recent glut of movies being shot in New York City, including Me, Natalie, which was filmed at the following locations: Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island; the Brooklyn Bridge; Bank Street in West Greenwich Village; and in East Greenwich Village. Producer Stanley Shapiro told the newspaper, “Every single foot of this film is being made in New York, and the whole process has been a happy one.” At the time, Patty Duke was in the middle of a personal crisis, chronically depressed after having a miscarriage, finishing The Valley of the Dolls (1968, see entry), a film she reportedly hated, separating from her husband, and reconnecting with her mother after years of estrangement. During an interview, she said, “I’ve had no sleep for four days. I’m black and blue from doing all my own stunts in the picture, I rode my own motorcycle and even jumped into the East River.”
       The 6 Nov 1968 Var noted that Duke was “winding” Me, Natalie. The 18 Mar 1969 DV, which stated that the actress was “looping” the film, revealed that “she’ll hardly be recognized” playing “a Jewish girl from Brooklyn—with fake nose and false teeth.”
       A full-page advertisement in the 9 Apr 1969 Var announced that Me, Natalie was “sneak previewed” in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. In Phoenix, a young audience watched it with Romeo and Juliet (1968, see entry). Three months later, per the 9 Jul 1969 Var, the film was set to premiere on 13 Jul 1969 at the Fine Arts Theatre in New York City, where it grossed $33,500 in two weeks. The film opened at the Pacific Picwood Theatre in West Los Angeles, CA, on 10 Sep 1969.
       The film received an “M label” for “Mature,” an early rating, from the Motion Picture Association of America, the 16 Apr 1969 DV noted.
       Positive reviews in the 9 Sep 1969 LAT called the film “an entertainment, not a social document, to be enjoyed, not analyzed," and the 16 Jul 1969 Var deemed it “a winner” for “the selected market.”
       A 7 Jan 1970 Var chart of the 1969 top film rentals in the U.S. and Canada listed ^Me, Natalie as number fifty-five, with rentals of $1.9 million.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1968
p. 1.
Daily Variety
10 May 1968
p. 8.
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1968
p. 1.
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1968
p. 8.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1968
p. 9.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
13 Sep 1968
p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
25 Oct 1967
Section D, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
7 May 1968
Section D, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
31 May 1968
Section E, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
8 Sep 1969
Section E, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
9 Sep 1969
Section E, p. 1.
New York Times
7 Jul 1968
Section D, p. 9.
New York Times
15 Aug 1968
p. 39.
New York Times
3 Nov 1968
p. 135.
Variety
18 Oct 1967
p. 5.
Variety
6 Nov 1968
p. 5.
Variety
25 Sep 1968
p. 24.
Variety
9 Apr 1969
p. 15.
Variety
9 Jul 1969
p. 22.
Variety
16 Jul 1969
p. 28.
Variety
30 Jul 1969
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
National General Pictures presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
David's paintings and drawings by
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Make up by
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Me, Natalie," music and lyrics by Henry Mancini and Rod McKuen, sung by Rod McKuen
"Off Ramp to Nowhere," written by Chris Mancini, performed by The Die-Hard Trippers.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 July 1969
Premiere Information:
New York world premiere: 13 July 1969
Los Angeles opening: 10 September 1969
Production Date:
24 June--early November 1968
Copyright Claimant:
Nob Hill Productions
Copyright Date:
6 June 1969
Copyright Number:
LP39149
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
111-112
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the night of the senior prom, Natalie Miller, a homely Jewish adolescent in Brooklyn, tells her parents that she must meet her date, a medical student, at the Staten Island Ferry. At the docks she surveys disembarking passengers, half hoping her imaginary escort will step ashore. Later, when supportive Uncle Harold, a retired Navy pharmacist who stresses inner beauty over outer beauty, marries buxom blonde stripper Shirley Norton, Natalie's self-confidence is shattered. Not long afterward, Uncle Harold dies, and Natalie is unable to go to his funeral because of her mixed feelings. Although she enrolls in college, Natalie is expelled for political activism. Desperate to guide their daughter's future, her parents bribe Morris, an aspirant optometrist, to date Natalie, but he turns out to be a jerk. Natalie buys a Honda motorcycle, rents a Greenwich Village apartment operated by eccentric Miss Dennison, and gets a job as a waitress at the Topless-Bottomless Club where Shirley works. Although Shirley admits to being a "tramp," she imparts a valuable lesson to Natalie about grabbing happiness when it comes her way, and impresses Natalie with how much she loved Uncle Harold. While riding up to her apartment in the dumbwaiter, Natalie attracts the attention of David Harris, an artist and architect, and they become lovers. Natalie contemplates getting a nose job, experiments with yoga, accidentally takes LSD, and defrauds a wealthy family of a recently deceased playboy by mourning at his funeral and signing away her fetus's claim to his estate. Invited to popular Betty Simon's Catholic wedding, Natalie is delighted to discover her classmate is pregnant, the unsuspecting groom is abysmally ugly, and the real father, former classmate and football ... +


On the night of the senior prom, Natalie Miller, a homely Jewish adolescent in Brooklyn, tells her parents that she must meet her date, a medical student, at the Staten Island Ferry. At the docks she surveys disembarking passengers, half hoping her imaginary escort will step ashore. Later, when supportive Uncle Harold, a retired Navy pharmacist who stresses inner beauty over outer beauty, marries buxom blonde stripper Shirley Norton, Natalie's self-confidence is shattered. Not long afterward, Uncle Harold dies, and Natalie is unable to go to his funeral because of her mixed feelings. Although she enrolls in college, Natalie is expelled for political activism. Desperate to guide their daughter's future, her parents bribe Morris, an aspirant optometrist, to date Natalie, but he turns out to be a jerk. Natalie buys a Honda motorcycle, rents a Greenwich Village apartment operated by eccentric Miss Dennison, and gets a job as a waitress at the Topless-Bottomless Club where Shirley works. Although Shirley admits to being a "tramp," she imparts a valuable lesson to Natalie about grabbing happiness when it comes her way, and impresses Natalie with how much she loved Uncle Harold. While riding up to her apartment in the dumbwaiter, Natalie attracts the attention of David Harris, an artist and architect, and they become lovers. Natalie contemplates getting a nose job, experiments with yoga, accidentally takes LSD, and defrauds a wealthy family of a recently deceased playboy by mourning at his funeral and signing away her fetus's claim to his estate. Invited to popular Betty Simon's Catholic wedding, Natalie is delighted to discover her classmate is pregnant, the unsuspecting groom is abysmally ugly, and the real father, former classmate and football star Stanley Dexter, is a bigger jerk than Morris. Drunk with pleasure, she rushes to Harris's apartment and jumps in his bed, unexpectedly disturbing his visiting estranged wife. Horrified by the realization that her lover is a married man, Natalie jumps in the East River, but changes her mind about suicide and confronts David. Although he is willing to divorce his wife for her, Natalie rejects the idea and returns home, wiser and more accepting of herself. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.