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Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 October 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,746 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 43 critic

A fragile Kansas girl's unrequited and forbidden 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 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Christie ...
Barbara Loden ...
Zohra Lampert ...
Fred Stewart ...
Joanna Roos ...
Mrs. Stamper
John McGovern ...
Doc Smiley
Jan Norris ...
Juanita Howard
Martine Bartlett ...
Miss Metcalf
Allen 'Toots' Tuttle
Crystal Field ...
Marla Adams ...


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 | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 October 1961 (USA)  »

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?


Pat Hingle, who plays Warren Beatty's father, was in fact only 13 years older than Beatty. See more »


At the film's climax, when Hazel asks Deanie if she still loves Bud, you can see to the right of the frame that Deanie is wearing her hat. However, when it cuts immediately to a close-up of Deanie, she is not wearing the hat. 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 Designing Women: Ted-Bare (1988) See more »


The Theme From Splendor In The Grass
Music composed by David Amram
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Too long, simplistic and just plain dull!
24 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1928 Kansas a poor girl named Wilma (Natalie Wood) is in love with rich Bud Stemper (Warren Beatty). He loves her and plans to marry her but his loud, overbearing father (Pat Hingle) puts a stop to that. Wilma has a nervous breakdown and is put in an institution...but Bud can't forget her.

OK--I'm a guy that loves sappy, romantic movies. Hell I cry at ANYTHING and I love Natalie Wood...but this left me cold. I found it incredibly simplistic in blaming the parents for all the kids troubles. Another annoyance was, because of the Production Code, they couldn't talk openly about sex. They got it through but in long lingering looks and dialogues that were just bewildering. Also Beatty (in his film debut) was pretty terrible. He was exceptionally good-looking and muscular...but a total blank in his role. His love for Wood never rang true to me. The film goes on far too long. Everything is done so slowly it just gets irritating. Pat Hingle's character also has got to be the most overbearing character in cinema history. On the plus side Wood is excellent. Her love for Beatty comes through loud and clear and her breakdown in the tub is just frightening. She's just incredible (that's why this gets 5 stars) but she can't save such a long, leisurely movie by herself. I know this affects lots of people (at a revival theatre where I first saw it years ago one woman behind me was sobbing openly by the end) but I just didn't care. Film debuts of Beatty, Sandy Dennis and (believe it or not) Phyllis Diller!

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