- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Innocence Lost and Found Makes Splendor Splendid
Do you remember being young and in love, feeling like you'd just DIE if your high school sweetheart didn't call? That's Bud (Beatty) and Deanie (Wood). They are a coo-some twosome until a dilemma arises: Good girls "don't" and bad girls "do." Long story (really) short, Bud's father convinces him that he can sow his wild oats with the town slut on the side and still date Deanie. Everyone in the school soon knows Bud's doing the slut, everyone but Deanie. She finds out in English Lit class, no less, with the slut seated right in front of her. By the time the teacher asks Deanie to stand up and read from Wordsworth, you can see a tsunami has overtaken her soul--and that she will go under. The moment when she places her hand to her head and asks the teacher if she can be excused is the end of innocence. She runs from the classroom and winds up in a psychiatric hospital, the victim of major depressive disorder. You see, Bud really liked Deanie. But Deanie was CRAZY about Bud--more crazy than she knew. Her parents have to use their savings and investments to pay for her psych care while Bud goes on to Yale to play football. Long story (really, really short) Deanie unravels the madness of men in her mind in therapy and even develops a friendship with another male patient. She recovers from the MDD and returns home to find not much has changed. Determined to face up to her greatest fear, she makes her girlfriend drive her to Bud's house where he lives with his wife. Down a long dirt road. In the middle of nowhere. In a ruddy little shack with no front door. And there he is: Mr. Dreamboat in dirty overalls and sweat working the farm with his equally dirty wife and dirty baby hanging out on the dirty kitchen floor. Deanie in her perfectly heavenly white dress and hat and gloves realizes something she didn't know before. Bud was always handsome, but not so bright. SHE could have ended up in the dirty kitchen with dirty Bud and the dirty Baby. But she didn't.
Splendor in the Grass
I've never been a fan of Warren Beatty, and I'm not here either. So, I think this film is so well played when we get to see Beatty at the end. It's like a Ha! Yes! moment. And I'm not a big Natalie Wood fan, but by the end of the film I really do like her. I am happy that she is well and getting married. Plus, she looked gorgeous in that white dress. Angelic.
SPLENDID FOR SPLENDID IN THE GRASS
- jOSEPH wILLIAMS
a brilliant adaptation of William Inge's play of young people in love and the fragility of human emotions. Great performances by Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty as well as all the supporting cast. Moves quickly and shows Midwest small town life. A recommended picture for all to see,,,,
Splendor in the Grass
- Dashiell Barnes
The best drama from Kazan in his later career. Wood gives an Oscar-nominated performance as a Kansas girl who breaksdown after losing her boyfriend, Beatty, sensastional in his debut. Writer Inge won an Academy Award for a terrific story about repression's ability to twist people. A great, touching drama & Wood's best dramatic work. I give it a 4/5.
Natalie Wood's best performance!
I've never liked this film! I always felt the characters could have been fleshed out a lot more than they were. That being said, Natalie Wood gave the performance of a lifetime! Her nuanced attempts to conform to the mores of the day were brilliant. She portrayed a manic-depressive in such a real way that I have often wondered if she didn't suffer from the same illness in real life. Warren Beatty is just eye candy in this film and you don't see him much which is a good thing as it allowed Wood to shine in her role. It's interesting to note that there is another film, directed by Kazan, with 'grass' in the title and it happens to be one of his very best. It is "The Sea of Grass" starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I very much preferred this film over "Splendor in the Grass" because the characters are much more fully realized, as is the storyline.
...a little clarification...
...I think I understand where 'nshepard' was coming from in their misinterpretation; I think it's likely he/she didn't see half of the movie, just started watching from where Wilma Dean and Bud were in the parking lot during the school dance....it would be easy to misunderstand if you'd missed the first half! I don't mean to harp or be unkind, I was just so bothered by the review of such a brilliantly poignant film to be boiled down to just 'sex and hormones'. Also....the sublime acting; Wood and Beatty were perfectly cast here--I'd run out of room, and just wanted to mention it. (Was that Phyllis Diller at the comedy club in New York?) The weak way the parents try to atone via apology (her mother, his father) just boils my blood! So shallow and certainly detrimental to their children; look at what became of poor Virginia. They are both so blind (or is it unwilling to admit?) to their roles in the angst and horror these poor youths went through; I really wish they'd been given their comeuppance by both characters in some way as they try to justify each ones' loathsome behaviour......though I love what her father did in the end when her mother was STILL doing it.....that is my only criticism. It was different times, then; perhaps it was just the way it had to be. The way both Deenie and Angie are self-conscious about what they are wearing when they part is really cute. :-)
Splendor in the Grass
Not sure which film nshepard (trying to 'cool off'?!? what?) was watching, but either they did not understand, or they were possibly thinking of a different movie...? The film was a) almost exactly opposite to what they've posted, and b) SO much more profound; it seems the point was missed on every nuance except the main stroke: repression/desire. I think it's misunderstanding, which is forgivable; Kazan was a very complex filmmaker, wherein lies his genius. I think he's expertly told the story here, and there are a lot more layers than sexual repression. There is class, duty, greed, religion, etc. are touched upon...all brewing to become a perfect storm. That kind of turmoil manifests differently for all of us. This is one of the most soul-crushingly heartbreaking movies I've ever seen; Deenies' mother and Buds' father are just so...inept and stupid; most of the adults are here. I do remember all of those feelings from Deenie, Bud and Virginia...love, frustration, fear, disillusionment, wanting to die. I didn't wind up in a mental institution, but certainly could have, with all the selfish and guilt-inducing 'advice', the judgmental bias depicting 'nice' kids, and anyone even so much as having those feelings was deemed unworthy, whether they did anything about it or not. The way predatory boys would lie to their friends and rumours get started when a girl did NOT give in... which in turn ruins a life/reputation, especially in a small town. The repressed women and sex ("I only gave in because a wife has to....to have children....a woman doesn't enjoy those things like a man does"); it's enough to drive anyone nuts! Forcing your hopes for a future on a son, and making them go to this college or take on that business. And in this movie, all of it destroyed what started out as a perfectly innocent and beautiful love and future for them. The ending is NOT what you hope for in this movie (is it ever with Kazan?), but it's not awful; it's just melancholy.
- classic film fan
I never get tired of Splendor in the Grass. This is a great film and a historical one as well. It marks Warren Beatty's debut in film and Natalie Wood has never been more beautiful or given a better performance. It is a heartbreaking story that anyone who has ever experienced young love can relate to and I always wish at the end that Bud and Deenie will just run away together....the way they still look @ each other will bring tears to your eyes. Do not miss this film.
Este filme é um dos meus preferidos porque trata do tema da repressão sexual . Um clássico de Elia Kazan que fez Natalie Wodd mostrar todo o seu talento e sua energia vivendo uma mpça reprimida pela sociedade da época. Todos deveriam ver este filme
Splendor In The Grass(1961)
In a Classic film of sexual repressed role reversal Wilma Dean Loomis(Natalie Woods) wants to express her sexual desires with Bud Stamper(Warren Beatty). But Bud shows restraint and discipline,WOW, borders on SCI-FI...Driven to the point of madness,1960's style story telling, Natalie struggles desperately to find a resolution, like trying to swim in the waterfalls...she needs to cool off, so to speak. Well, it is an interesting film, with much angst and sexual frustration, but at that age, with hormones running wild,not surprising, the adults are at a loss to help with the answers. If only the teacher had finished the poetry lesson, maybe we could have found the answers to "The Splender In The Grass." But, I think you already know what it is... 4 stars out of 5 stars for excellent performances, although the script is a little , repressed...
- abby kilgore
but one of the best. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and characters!
A Heart-Wrenching Romantic Drama.
- Frank Harris Horn
Warren Beatty makes his film debut as he co-stars opposite Natalie Wood in Elia Kazan's sentimental melodramatic masterpiece set in pre-Depression era Kansas. Both Beatty and Wood are two pre-college students, whose relationship abruptedly ends. Thus, causing her to have an emotional breakdown, which causes her to be placed in an institution. William Inge, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, appears as a minister in the movie. A Sentimental sudser and a brilliant start for future Oscar winner, Beatty. The movie also marks the film debuts of future Oscar winner, Sandy Dennis and comedienne, Phyllis Diller. Filmed on location in New York City, Brookhaven, High Falls and Staten Island, New York. Also starring Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Gary Lockwood, John McGovern, Zohra Lampert, Fred Stewarrt, Joanna Roos, Martine Bartlett, Lynn Loring, Marla Adams, Crystal Field, Jan Norris, Ivor Francis, Charles Robinson, Jim Antonio, Lou Antonio, Mark Slade, Eugene Roche & Godfrey Cambridge.
A Masterpiece of Cinema Aesthetics
Beyond Aristotle, somehow western theatre evolved to include an empathetic, not merely representative aesthetic of dramatic arts. With the expanded possibilities inherent in cinema, drawing the audience into an experiential identity with the characters on screen became the goal of the love story and the historicist imperative of modern film. Without even suggesting a preference for empathetic over representative theatre (I prefer choric and spectacular representative genres, i.e., traditional Japanese theatrre), and I hate anything that makes me feel the characters' catharses), I have to agree with the person who said that this is the director's and the author's masterpiece. At a time in cinema history, when some of the worst movies ever made were mainstream delights, as suddenly as Shakespeare, "Spleandor in the Grass" appeared, supplanting all previous standards. When Natalie Wood "breaks out" with three different sets of complex emotions in three different scenes, a bounty still unsurpassed in any film, it is as though the screen itself explodes, sending phosphoric fire into the soul of the beholder. You don't cry in this amazingly unsentimental love story. You burn
One for the Ages
- Bob Hendrick
This is one of the two Kazan masterpieces (On the Waterfront being the other). I have viewed this film over 30 times and have never found a flaw. William Inge's bittersweet original screenplay that captures the essence of youth's struggle to adulthood, has never been equaled on the screen. The cast is uniformly perfect from the leads to the smallest role; with standout performances by Natalie Wood, Pat Hingle and Barbara Loden. David Amram's brilliant score punctuates this timeless masterpiece.
Splendor In The Grass
I didn't catch the beginning of the movie but I watched most of it. The movie aired approximately 10:30pm EST during the week; I was glued to the sofa unitl around 1:00 a.m.; I just could not go to bed without watching the remainder. It is right up there with Steven King's movies which I love so much. I had not seen a movie this good in a very long time and would recommend it to almost everyone. I enjoy Turner Classic Movies. Please keep them coming!
One of my favorite movies, I love Natalie Wood, she is my favorite actress. I have watched this movie at least 25 times. I wasnt born yet when it came out, but I told my kids about this movie, and they were like.... sounds boring, then I guess they watched it on tv one night, then told me, wow I loved that movie, it really was good. Now there into the old movies. Classic!!!!
An excellent movie for young adults!
As a seventeen year old girl, I loved Splendor in the Grass! The casting couldn't have been any better; handsome Warren Beatty and the beautiful Natalie Wood. They have good looks, but more importantly, they have real acting chops. This is why I love classic movies: the people are not just cast because of their external beauty, but because they can also capture their character and make the audience feel their emotions. I love this movie and I love TCM!
Splendor in the Score
Seeing "Splendor in the Grass" again simply reaffirmed my belief that it is one of most special movies ever made! Natalie Wood's (and Warren Beatty's too!) acting is so natural and believable that a viewer is taken into the story with them immediately. The ending when Deanie goes to visit the married Bud and leaves stronger never fails to make me tear up! The scene that also makes me cry (and it may be the best scene in entire film) is when Deanie's father supplies her with the information that Bud is living out at his dad's old ranch. She goes over and kisses his forehead and thanks him! It is so wonderful - I just love it! Beautiful, too, is the magnificent score by David Amran that brings out all the pathos and poingency of the bittersweet story. situation. Thank you, TCM, for running this movie! -Margie
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Natalie Wood is surprisingly good. Good drama, very well acted, excellently written. Top notch production, good art direction and costumes. Elia Kazan's style of direction is very evident here.
One of my all-time favorite five movies.
- howard bloomberg
After seeing this movie in 1961, I went home and memorized the Henry Wordsworth poem from which the movie title is taken. Natalie Wood is the only Hollywood actress or actor, whose photo I ever placed on the wall in my bedroom. I also am of the firm opinion that the movie, This Property is Condemned, starring Natalie and Robert Redford, is exceptionally under appreciated.
One of my favorites.
An oldie but goodie; A classic. ...Takes place in an older era. ...Appeals to our romantic sides. The end scene where she visits her old love and finds him married is the best.
- M. Meyers
I saw this movie in 1961 and was deeply moved by the characters and story. The cast was excellent, especially the late Natalie Woods. The struggle to obey parents and deal with their feelings, proved to be impossible for both. They found themselves in a dark abyss of pain and the only way out was even darker than either ever imagined. This is still in my top 5 favorite movies.