1961's premiere "date" movie represented the screen debut of Warren Beatty. Set in the 1920s, William Inge's screenplay concerns the superheated romance between working-class high schooler Natalie Wood and rich kid Beatty. Trying their best to keep their relationship from going "all the way," Beatty and Wood go through a series of unsatisfying interim romances. The troubled Wood attempts suicide and is sent to a mental institution, while Beatty impregnates freewheeling waitress Zohra Lampert. Wood and Beatty still carry a torch for one another, but circumstances preclude their getting together -- and besides, Wood suddenly realizes that she's outgrown the still-floundering Beatty. Scriptwriter William Inge shows up as a minister in Splendor in the Grass, while comedienne Phyllis Diller does a cameo as famed nightclub entertainer Texas Guinan; also, keep an eye out for Sandy Dennis, making her first movie appearance. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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If you can watch this movie without crying, then you'd better have your pulse taken! This is the tragic and beautiful tale of teenage love interrupted. Natalie Wood gives the performance of her long career, and Warren Beatty gives his first screen appearance. Elia Kazan directs this lovely film with all the sensitivity it deserves.
I thoroughly anjoyed watching "Splendor in the Grass". In fact, I rented it twice just to watch this masterpiece--the script, acting, set design, etc. are all top notch. The writers bring the viewers emotionally into the characters' minds...we all know what life is like at different stages of our life, especially during our teen years. I don't want to give away anything, but there is a "mother-and-daughter" talk toward the end where some surprising revelations are admitted (at least from my standpoint).
Bring kleenex and put a "do not disturb " sign near your TV room cause this movie will keep you rivited to the screen and your emotions will run the gamut. Excellent Movie!