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Elia Kazan: The Actor’s Director

Splendor in the Grass

Kazan’s heady story of young love plagued by parental opposition in 1930s Kansas.

Image from Splendor in the Grass

USA 1961
Dir Elia Kazan
With Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Barbara Loden
Certificate 15

Smalltown Kansas in the late 1920s: Deanie (Wood) and Bud (Beatty) are high-school sweethearts, but their plans to marry come up against their respective parents’ strict ideas about sex, money and class. Written by playwright William Inge (who won an Oscar®), the film alternates between tender lyricism and melodrama of an almost expressionist intensity, and benefits from the rapt performances of its young leads.


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