Splendor In The Grass (DVD)

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Splendor In The Grass (DVD)

Warren Beatty makes his screen debut alongside Natalie Wood in this drama revolving around repressed sexuality and small-town hypocrisy in 1920s Ameri...

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Review of "Splendor In The Grass (DVD)"

published 11/12/2014 | crazyomon
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"a romantic tragedy that is better than what you think is the best"

Splendor In The Grass (DVD)

Splendor In The Grass (DVD)

Elia Kazan’s “Splendor in the Grass” is by far the most tragic love story I have ever seen. Those who cry after watching “The Notebook” and “Titanic” haven’t seen a ‘realistic’ tragedy, and they must give it a go so that they can know that they have just been wasting their precious emotions. Love is the force of nature and once that force catches you, it becomes the most beautiful thing ever happened to you, but the same force have the capacity to tear you apart mentally and emotionally. The poster of the movie said: maybe you remember…when suddenly the kissing isn’t a kid’s game anymore…suddenly it’s wide-eyed scary and dangerous. A young and soft girl loses the way of living once her love is taken away from her.

Movies such as this one always crave a nice little spot in your hearts to stay in it forever. The sad pictures come before your eyes whenever you try to close them. The film shows how desires and greed can ruin, not one, many lives. Love has no boundaries, no religion and no color. It is a sensation that runs through your heart upon a mere sight of someone. People spend their whole lives seeking for such love, and those who get it kill themselves when it is taken away from them.

I noticed one more thing in the film—which I’m sure was not one of the intentions of the film. In slightly disciplined and rich families, youngsters have a tendency to dream through their parents’ eyes—never noticing it. Bud Stamper (Warren Beatty) is sent to Yale University and is the captain of his football team and basketball team. He confesses in one scene that when he was a kid, he dreamt of being a farmer but never got a chance to do so amidst the fake reality he was living in. Bud loved Deanie (Natalie Wood) more than passionately. His sexual desires, and his father’s dreams for him, wronged his love.

Bud says that it is no fun to be in love, it is a torture. He could’ve been with the person he wanted to be more than anything in the world if he had listened to his heart rather than his father. Bud’s father (Pat Hingle) is a loud-speaking oil-man and a drunk. He isn’t doing anything wrong by thinking for a safe future for his son. It is just the dilemma he puts Bud into without listening him out that ruins many lives.

Deanie is the only daughter of a much poorer family than Bud’s. Her parents have invested in share market and they go nuts when they hear of a rise in the shares and the moment they know the news of share market crashing, their lives get dirtier than they had ever imagined. Anyways, they remain with Deanie in the worst of her times. They do everything to make her forget Bud but it is impossible for her. She goes worse and worse every day in the hope of Bud coming back to her.

Natalie Wood has the same intensity in the film that Meryl Streep bore in “Sophie’s Choice”. Her performance starts as very good and gets better and better with every passing frame. The sadness and despair she brings to Deanie blows your mind away, and leaves you with tear in your eyes. It was after a very long time that I had tears in my eyes. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and I wish she had won it, because I have never seen such a moving performance in all those ‘so-called romantic movies’.

After Wood, it has to be Pat Hingle who stole my attention the most, he was so damn loud though. He drinks a lot, shouts at his daughter—so much that she has started ignoring him and wants to get away from him as soon as she can. He doesn’t understand love but he says otherwise to his son many times so that he can get into Yale. Warren Beatty fits into the part of Bud brilliantly. His expressions and mannerisms well suit the character. All other actors provide ample support.

Elia Kazan made masterpieces like “On the Waterfront” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” before “Splendor in the Grass”. I had watched both of the above mentioned film and was very excited to see his take on romantic stories. I hadn’t expected at all what he showed me. A sheer masterpiece. For the first thirty minutes or so, the movie goes like any other romantic film where the couple is enjoying little happy moments, it is after that half hour the plot suddenly starts to get intense. Elia Kazan brought talents like Marlon Brando and James Dean to the Hollywood and the history. He was admired for his chemistry with actors that made them perform non-worryingly and thus flawlessly.

The film won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. William Inge penned the script of the film. The dialogues in the film are rich with sentiments. The tense moments are written cleverly by the writer. Inge wrote plays for most of his life. He wrote a couple more movies after this one. Along with a couple of more awards, Warren Beatty received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.

In one scene, Deanie reads this beautiful line from William Wordsworth’s poem: Though nothing can bring back the hour…of splendor in the grass…of glory in the flower. Poor girl is not able to tell the meaning of these lines to her English teacher, but she understands it by the end of the movie. This film is not to be missed if you watch romantic movies. For your convenience, this one is in English and colored.


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Comments on this review

  • sophie_mcenteggart published 19/03/2017
    I disagree that Titanic and The Notebook aren't realistic tragedies. I think that some people may find your statement about wasting "precious emotions" on them offensive. Helpful review otherwise.
  • euphie published 13/12/2014
    vh :o)
  • danielalong published 13/12/2014
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Product Information : Splendor In The Grass (DVD)

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Warren Beatty makes his screen debut alongside Natalie Wood in this drama revolving around repressed sexuality and small-town hypocrisy in 1920s America.


Listed on Ciao since: 10/11/2008