Me, Natalie

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Me, Natalie
Me Natalie (1967).jpg
Original poster
Directed by Fred Coe
Produced by Stanley Shapiro
Screenplay by A. Martin Zweiback
Story by Stanley Shapiro
Starring Patty Duke
James Farentino
Salome Jens
Elsa Lanchester
Martin Balsam
Nancy Marchand
Philip Sterling
Deborah Winters
Ron Hale
Bob Balaban
Catherine Burns
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Arthur J. Ornitz
Edited by John McSweeney Jr.
Distributed by National General Pictures
Release date
July 13, 1969 (1969-07-13)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.9 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

Me, Natalie is a 1969 American comedy-drama film directed by Fred Coe. The screenplay by A. Martin Zweiback is based on an original story by Stanley Shapiro. The film stars Patty Duke, James Farentino, Salome Jens, Elsa Lanchester, Nancy Marchand, Martin Balsam and Al Pacino in his film debut.


From childhood, Brooklyn teenager Natalie Miller, with upper front teeth that are slightly bucked and a nose too large for her face, has considered herself homely and she never has subscribed to her mother's determined belief that she will grow up to be pretty. Her best friend Betty is a knockout gorgeous blonde with boyfriends, which further depresses her. Natalie's father, a druggist who doesn't share his wife's optimistic outlook, bribes myopic optometrist Morris to marry her, hoping his nearsightedness will prevent him from seeing she's no beauty.

After she discovers her father's plan, Natalie leaves home and moves to Greenwich Village, where she rents an apartment from eccentric Miss Dennison and sets out to enjoy a Bohemian lifestyle. She finds employment as a cocktail waitress at the Topless Bottom Club and befriends drug-addicted go-go dancer Shirley Norton. Although she contemplates suicide after discovering her aspiring artist lover David Harris is married, he finally convinces her she's a worthwhile human being and not the ugly duckling she imagines herself to be.

Principal cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby called the film "an artificial mess of wisecracks and sentimentality" and added, "Locales and a gummy musical score by Henry Mancini and Rod McKuen are among the things constantly impinging on Me, Natalie. Another is Coe's apparent indecision as to whether the movie is a character study or a gag comedy. Mostly it's just gags, delivered abrasively by Miss Duke, who is even less effective when registering pathos."[2]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times found it to be "as conventional and corny as warmed-over "Young at Heart" . . . a pleasant film, very funny at times . . . Patty Duke, as Natalie, supplies a wonderful performance."[3]

TV Guide considers the film "somewhat bland" but calls Duke "a wonder" and adds, "Handled by a lesser actress, the results might have seemed more stereotypical, but Duke is convincing."[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1969", Variety, 7 January 1970 p 15
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (July 14, 1969). "The Screen: 'Me, Natalie':Patty Duke Plays Ugly Teen-ager in Coe Film". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Me, Natalie Movie Review and Film Summary". Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Me, Natalie". TVGuide. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]