Splendor in the Grass (1961) Poster

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  • High school seniors Bud Stamper (Warren Beatty) and Wilma Dean "Deanie" Loomis (Natalie Wood) are in love, hoping to marry one day, and struggling to keep their sexual "urges" under control, because they're both "good" kids. Unfortunately, Deanie comes from a poor family while Bud is the high school football captain and son of wealthy oil baron Ace Stamper (Pat Hingle), who has his own ideas about Bud's future. Ace wants Bud to go away to Yale University and pressures him to "find another type of girl" on whom to relieve his desires. Bud obeys his father and breaks up with Deanie, which drives her to madness. Then the stock market crash of '29 erupts, changing everything.

  • Splendor in the Grass is based on an original screenplay written by American playwright and novelist William Inge [1913-1973].

  • The film's title is taken from "Ode: Intimations of Immortality" by English Romantic poet William Wordsworth [1770-1850]. The stanza goes as follows: What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind...

  • Deanie is discharged from the mental facility and returns home. After a lot of initial questions from her mother (Audrey Christie), Deanie asks her whether Bud is married, but her mother doesn't know. When her friends June (Marla Adams) and Hazel (Crystal Field) drop by to see her, Deanie asks them to take her to see Bud, who is now staying out at his father's old ranch. The girls drive out there, and Hazel goes to fetch Bud after being told by Angelina (Zohra Lampert) that he's out back. Hazel tells Bud that Deanie is there. He wipes his hands and comes out to see her. When Deanie sees Bud, she runs to him but stops short of embracing him. They look into each others' eyes for several seconds before Bud breaks the silence by saying that it's good to see her. After another awkward silence, Bud invites her into the house to meet his family...his pregnant wife (Angelina) and baby Bud Junior. Angelina invites Deanie to stay for dinner, but she declines. Bud walks her back to the car. Deanie asks Bud whether he is happy, but he replies that he doesn't ask himself that question very much. He then asks her if she is happy, and she tells him she is getting married in a month but admits that she doesn't think much about happiness either. "Things work out awful funny sometimes, don't they?" Bud says, adding that he's very glad to see her again. They say goodbye to each other, and Bud promises to invite them all back sometime. Bud then returns to the house, kissing Angie as he comes through the door. In the final scene, back in the car, Hazel asks Deanie if she still loves Bud. Deanie doesn't answer but voices over the words of Wordsworth's poem, Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.

  • William Inge wrote several screenplays that were made into movies including Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) (1952) and its TV remakes Come Back, Little Sheba (1977) (1977), Picnic (1955) (1955), Bus Stop (1956) (1956), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) (1960), All Fall Down (1962) (1962), and Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1979) (1979).


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