Armour: ‘Penelope,’ Natalie Wood, and baseball cards

From SABR member Mark Armour at WordPress on August 3, 2016:

Last February, about the time I was putting together the slides for my talk, I happened to watch the 1966 movie Penelope, starring Natalie Wood. I watch a LOT of movies, and I love Natalie Wood, but I had never even heard of this one. I occasionally scan through my Turner Classic Movies guide and find a handful of films to record, and this one was an easy call.

In Penelope, Wood’s title character is a bored housewife who robs her husband’s bank at the very start, and then spends the rest of the film outwitting her husband, blackmailers, a police detective (Peter Falk), and her analyst (Dick Shawn), among others. But, really, the entire purpose of the movie seems to have been to outfit Natalie Wood in the latest fashions. The producers even made a four minute film clip about Wood’s Penelope outfits, many of which she did not actually wear in the movie. Edith Head, who won eight Oscars for costume design in her long career, stars in the clip.

There are two reasons this film should be viewed. The first, already covered, is Natalie Wood. The second is the scene below. Pay particular attention to Peter Falk’s left hand starting about 12 seconds into the scene.

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Originally published: August 10, 2016. Last Updated: August 10, 2016.