Saturday, July 27, 2013

368. Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass
Directed by Elia Kazan

This was definitely a nice surprise.  I had never heard of Splendor in the Grass before and based on the title, I was picturing some artsy European film, and honestly, I wasn't in the mood.  However, this was a very relatable film that reminded me heavily of my own high school experience (although no one was as hot as Warren Beatty and everyone didn't have perfect skin).

Deanie and Bud are going steady but Bud wants to take their physical relationship to, um, move to the next level.  On the one hand, Deanie would be considered a slut if she slept with him.  On the other hand, she would be considered a prude and might lose Bud if she doesn't put out.  Anyway, Deanie starts to lose it a bit, in an over the top, teenage girl fashion. Or maybe not so typical after all.

Well, it was certainly interesting to see a film that addressed real issues with teens that are still relevant today.  I mean, we had Rebel Without a Cause before, but I could never connect to our rebel because, um, he had no cause.  But like I said, this film actually dealt with problems that teenage girls face.  Of course, I never dated in high school so I wasn't exactly turning away the fellows.

And, of course, this film can be relatable for guys as well.  Should they stick with the type of girl they want to marry or have some fun with the type of girl they want to, you know, have fun with (after all my parents read this blog).

And surprisingly, Natalie Wood is fantastic in this film.  I had written her off as a somewhat wooden actor but I am forced to revise my old opinion.  One of the many things Past Amanda was wrong about.

So an interesting film that is relatable and well acted.  Worth a watch.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

First french kiss in a Hollywood film.  *Whistles*

Film debut of Warren Beatty.



  1. One of my favorite films ever. Natalie Wood's shouting "I'm not spoiled, mom!" in the tub is one of those scenes you never forget.

    But I think the point of the movie is not so much teenage life as female sexual repression. After all, nobody thinks Warren Beatty is wrong for "wanting it". His father even offer him to pay for it. But everybody thinks Natalie is a basket case for that. They even lock her in the nuthouse!

    This was probably the first Hollywood film in the road toward female sexual liberation. Even before the European films started to address this matter!

    1. You're right! It beat Belle de Jour by like five years.

  2. Well, here I go again, being a spoil-sport.
    I did not like Splendor in the Grass much. Not for technical performance, it is well made all round, but for the sentiment behind it. Whenever I encounter movies promoting how terrible it is when you cannot get your hearts desire, my heart sinks. It tastes too much like catering to an over-romantizised idea aimed at selling cheap novellas.
    The part I did like is exactly what you point out as the precursor to the sexual revolution. If only the wrapping had not been so icky.

    1. I encourage your spoil sporting. I can totally see why this could make you gag.