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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


It's unrelenting moments, Its tragedies and splendors! See more »


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?


Diane Varsi and Lee Remick considering the part of Deanie. 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 »


Featured in The In Crowd (1988) 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

Heartbreaking but incredibly good
4 August 2002 | by (SC) – See all my reviews

*Splendor in the Grass*

I've sen Splendor in the Grass a few times now, and with each time my heart breaks a little more. Incredible directing, magnificent acting, and traumatizing events that will leave you breathless and maybe in tears. I don't think any movie has made me feel true pain like this one did. I don't know what it was, but it was amazing. I feel the desire Bud has and the torture Deadie is going through, and I think it's because of either the impeccable acting from the leads and supporting cast (Bud's sister was great in her role) or the flawless directing of Elia Kazan.

The opening scene begins with Bud(Beatty) and Deadie(Wood) "necking" (got to get that old-timey vibe) in Bud's car. Deadie has been told time and time again by her mother that you must never go all they way before marriage. Deadie's parents are so unaware of what teens were doing at the time. So she refuses to do it with him. This angers Bud in a way that's easy to tell, he loves her but he wants more then just that. But they're relationship is more then just sex. They really are crazy about each other. Bud's father suggests he dates "another kind of woman". And I'll leave it at that.

Natalie Wood really shows here that she can act. Not that she hadn't shown in in West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, but in this one she just shines. Her transformation from clean and virginal to almost insane is genius. Bravo, Natalie. Warren Beatty is pretty good, well actually he is very good, considering it was pretty much his first movie. And despite Bonnie and Clyde he really hasn't been too good in anything since. Like I said before, the rest of the cast delivers perfectly too. Elia Kazan always knows how to bring out the best in a cast. Marlon Brando gave the performance of a lifetime in On The Waterfront and Natalie Wood does the same with this.

This is a sad and heartbreaking tale that can't be missed. The end gets me every time.


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