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Splendor In The Grass Review

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Deanie is a young girl from a small town in Kansas who falls deeply and irrevocably in love with a boy on the inaccessible right side of the tracks. Passion and tragedy ensue.

★★★★★

Elia Kazan’s passionate picture of first love doomed by social pressure, scripted by dramatist William Inge (who won the Oscar and cameos in the film), is a landmark in Hollywood melodrama, standing squarely between elegantly overwrought classical studio style and the fresh, intimate immediacy of French New Wave.

Natalie Wood, never better or more beautiful, is smalltown Kansas girl Deanie, driven to a breakdown by her consuming, thwarted love for high-school football hero Bud (Warren Beatty in his screen debut), whose father’s plans exclude the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The opening scene of them snogging in a parked car is still a knee-trembler; the final scene, visiting what they have become, still deeply moving.

dvd EXTRAS Oddly, 1961 Road Runner cartoon ‘Beep Prepared’.

Natalie Wood is stunning and the drama is full of passion but this suffers a little from 60s hollywood style.

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