peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 06 06 SplendourInTheGrass

Splendour in the Grass (1961)

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In two sittings. Eliza Kazan completism; I've got a ways to go yet. William Inge was Oscared for the screenplay, which is essentially Southern Gothic. The plot is right there in the title card: Kansas 1928. Soon enough we're introduced to there-will-be-blood oil tycoon Pat Hingle who is single-handedly making the town rich. Oscar-nommed Natalie Wood had the thankless task of playing a hysterical Ophelia (these things don't age well do they?) who repeats the name of Warren Beatty's character ("Bud", her high school sweetheart) thousands of times. It was his first feature and he's pretty wooden. There's a dash of Jack Nicholson in those eyebrows but more of James Dean in how he was shot. Barbara Loden had the most fun as Beatty's trampy sister.

Bosley Crowther at the time.