Splendor in the Grass


Action / Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Natalie Wood Photo
Natalie Wood as Wilma Dean Loomis
Barbara Loden Photo
Barbara Loden as Ginny Stamper
Warren Beatty Photo
Warren Beatty as Bud Stamper
Dolores Costello Photo
Dolores Costello as Actress in film clip from 'Glorious Betsy'
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.11 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S 1 / 6
2.06 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bob-790-1960189 / 10

A celebration of romantic love, sex included

This is a fine movie, with a great screenplay by William Inge, director Elia Kazan's ability to convey powerful emotions, and a marvelous performance by Natalie Wood.

Typically relegated to the second ranks among playwrights, Inge deserves more critical respect than he receives. Here, as in "Picnic," he celebrates romantic love, shows how inseparable it is from sex, and portrays the damage done by a conventional world that insists on separating them.

We belittle the small-town characters in the film, who see the world in terms of "good" girls and "bad" girls, but many reviewers have shown a similarly reductionist outlook on a more sophisticated level. They have seen this movie as "Freudian," showing love to be a sublimation of sex. Or they have belittled it as just another "rebellious youth" film of the type that was so popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. Pauline Kael wrote about Natalie Wood's apparently too active "behind," and on TCM, Robert Osborne introduced the movie as one in which the young couple is motivated by "hormones."

In the movie, it is plain that the young couple truly love each other, and it is also plain that they desire each other sexually. So it always will be with young people in love. This is the glory of romance. People frequently love without a sexual involvement, and people frequently have sex without love. But romantic love is a matter of both "body" and "soul" acting as one.

Reviewed by Gideon248 / 10

Natalie Wood's finest performance

Splendor in the Grass is the 1961 classic of forbidden love, mental illness, and family manipulation that features the finest performance of Natalie Wood's career and marked the film debut of Warren Beatty.

Set in a small town in 1920's Kansas, this is the story of a mentally fragile high school student named Deenie Loomis (Wood) who enters a doomed romance with school stud Bud Stamper (Beatty),an aimless young man who allows his life to be quietly manipulated by his wealthy father (Pat Hingle),who is grooming Bud to take over the family business but in the meantime has decided that Deenie is not good enough for his son and forces him to end the romance, which sends Deenie on a slow descent into insanity, which actually climaxes with her being institutionalized.

In the tradition of cinematic couples like Scarlett and Rhett, George Eastman and Angela Findlay, and Katie Morofsky and Hubbell Gardner, screenwriter William Inge has created star-crossed lovers who we immediately empathize with but also know that they are doomed.

Elia Kazan's vivid direction and his respect for Inge's story is evident, and there is effective support from Hingle and from Audrey Christie as Deenie's harridan of a mother, but the real selling point here is Wood, who turns in a blistering and evocative performance as the fragile Deenie, a performance that earned Wood her first Oscar nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress, an award I think she should have won.

There is an underlying sadness to the performance as we watch Wood do two particularly moving scenes involving water, one in a bathtub and one in a river, which Wood completely invests in, despite her lifelong fear of water and the way the actress eventually died. A film classic that should not be missed. Remade as a TV movie by NBC with Melissa Gilbert as Deenie.

Reviewed by MartinHafer4 / 10

I would like to offer a dissenting opinion.

"Splendor in the Grass" has a very high rating of 7.8 on IMDb and most of the reviews are very positive. Well, this is a case where I am out of step with prevailing opinion and I'd like to explain why. Although the plot was interesting and somewhat like the great French film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", the execution of this plot was very problematic to me. Often instead of being reasonable, the actors overact and the director SHOULD have reigned them in...though I am certainly in the minority on this one.

The story is about two high school students (Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood) who are desperately in love...but his father wants the son to go off to college and graduate before he considers marrying anyone. But the youngsters are insistent...and eventually the girl inexplicably loses her mind and things DON'T work out as they should.

So let's talk about the problems. Beatty and Wood were about 23 each playing 17 year-olds. This was obvious and the parts should have gone to much younger actors. And, the whole going off the deep end because she DIDN'T have sex was truly bizarre--a weird re-working of the rotten film "Sex Madness". In "Sex Madness", premarital sex leads to insanity and here in "Splendor in the Grass" NOT having sex has the same effect!! This is just dumb...as is Wood's overacting when she loses her mind. It was almost laughable. So, despite a lot of great ratings and reviews, I found the film just didn't cut it and seems silly and dated.

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