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Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 15 November 1961 (Japan)
A fragile Kansas girl's love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.




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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Roos ...
Mrs. Stamper
John McGovern ...
Doc Smiley
Juanita Howard
Miss Metcalf
Allen 'Toots' Tuttle
Crystal Field ...


It's 1928 in oil rich southeast Kansas. High school seniors Bud Stamper and Deanie Loomis are in love with each other. Bud, the popular football captain, and Deanie, the sensitive soul, are "good" kids who have only gone as far as kissing. Unspoken to each other, they expect to get married to each other one day. But both face pressures within the relationship, Bud who has the urges to go farther despite knowing in his heart that if they do that Deanie will end up with a reputation like his own sister, Ginny Stamper, known as the loose, immoral party girl, and Deanie who will do anything to hold onto Bud regardless of the consequences. They also face pressures from their parents who have their own expectation for their offspring. Bud's overbearing father, Ace Stamper, the local oil baron, does not believe Bud can do wrong and expects him to go to Yale after graduation, which does not fit within Bud's own expectations for himself. And the money and image conscious Mrs. Loomis just wants... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Esplendor en la hierba  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Depicts the first French kiss in a Hollywood film. See more »


In Bud's basketball game, the free throw lane is twelve feet wide. Even at the college level this width did not appear until 1957. See more »


[first lines]
Wilma Dean: Bud...
Bud: Deanie, please...
Wilma Dean: Bud, I'm afraid. Oh, Bud... don't, Bud.
Bud: Deanie...
Wilma Dean: No... we mustn't, Bud... no... no...
[he gets out of the car]
Wilma Dean: Bud, don't be mad.
Bud: I better take you home.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Warren Beatty See more »


Referenced in Middle Men (2009) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung on New Year's Eve
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Whatever you think of Elia Kazan, he still is one of the greatest directors who ever lived.
5 June 2001 | by (Rockville, MD) – See all my reviews

I am not a fan of the politics of Mr. Kazan, nor do I have the least amount of respect for his conduct during the McCarthy era, however I cannot help but acknowledge that he is simply one of the finest movie directors who ever lived.

Splendor In The Grass is yet another brilliantly acted film, one which is so engrossing, so riveting, that by the time it is finished one literally feels out of breath. Now perhaps one could say, well Mr. Kazan has been blessed with a continuing succession of extremely talented actors and actresses. This is true, "Gentleman's Agreement," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "On The Waterfront," "Splendor In The Grass" each possess legendary performers. However! How did they perform at their best? Mr. Kazan. And if you ever hear them interviewed, those who are still alive, they all pay tribute to his superior ability to demand and acquire the best an actor has to offer. Natalie Wood in particular proves this in the film, so does the nascent Warren Beatty, both whom deliver poise far beyond their respective ages at that time.

Mr. Kazan also is a superior story teller and this film maneuvers with lyrical facility and poetic grace. I did not find one moment unnecessary, every image told a story and aided my descent into the minds of the characters. And you certainly empathize with them! You are drawn in and engrossed by their experiences. All of this is the result of a master technician and artistic visionary who had both the aesthetic genius and technical know-how to conduct one of a series of top-notch pieces in the American film landscape. A must see!

41 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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