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10 Movies That Were Supposedly Cursed


4
'Brainstorm'
Wood, Wagner and John Travolta (!) at a 1978 tribute to Fred Astaire. Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images
Wood, Wagner and John Travolta (!) at a 1978 tribute to Fred Astaire. Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images

This is one you won't find on many lists of cursed movies, although Hollywood superstar Natalie Wood died during the filming of the 1983 sci-fi flick "Brainstorm." In fact, many people lump in her death, along with that of James Dean and Sal Mineo, as part of the "Rebel Without a Cause" curse. So why is Wood's final film a better curse candidate? For one thing, the timing between the film and her death is much closer.

Wood drowned after being on a yacht with husband Robert Wagner. Aside from the boat's captain, there was one other person aboard: her "Brainstorm" co-star, Christopher Walken. No one claimed to have seen Wood fall into the water, so it was surmised that she was drunk and fell in. The captain claimed many years later that Wagner had killed her, but no one was ever charged. For decades, her death was classified as an accident, but authorities changed it to "undetermined" in 2012. It's one of Hollywood's biggest scandals.

That's still not enough for a curse though. So how about this: Wood's death forced the use of a body double to complete filming, then the movie's release was delayed until 1983 by a variety of tortuous film industry financial dealings. When it was finally released, it was buried with virtually no marketing, and it predictably lost money. The entire ordeal was so awful that it ended Douglas Trumbull's career as a film director. He never directed another film, although he did develop innovative special effect technology for movies and theme park rides.